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Blunt, (John Henry). Dursley, 

oucestcrshire) and its neighbourhood; 

i-ding, (W. L.). Story of Bristol: 2 

i., both illustrated, post, 8vo., cloth, 

1877 and 1906. 






D U R S L E Y 







Rector of Beverston, 


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THERE are few parishes of which there is not something- 
interesting to be recorded, and few of which the records are 
satisfactorily dealt with in County histories. Of the four 
parishes which are dealt with in this little volume, each how- 
ever has a special interest of its own, one being the site of a 
burial place belonging to the earliest times of our national 
existence, and of a Roman Camp ; a second containing the 
interesting remains of a Castle that was inhabited by a great 
branch of the Berkeley family for several centuries ; and the 
two others possessing parish books which illustrate, in a 
remarkable manner, the parochial life of the district from the 
time of Queen Elizabeth downward. 



The author felt it to he a duty, when he became Rector 
of Beverston, to gather what information he could about the 
history of his parish, and to place it upon record. A wish 
was expressed by his friends that the memorials so gathered 
should be put into print ; and a suggestion was added by the 
publisher that it should be accompanied by notices of Dursley 
and some of the adjoining parishes. Thus the volume grew 
into its present form, and would have included several 
other parishes but that the author has been obliged to take 
up work which has occupied all his time, and has thus been 
prevented from carrying his local enquiries further. He has 
not been able, for the same reason, to lay before the reader 
quite such full accounts even of these four parishes as he had 
originally intended: but those who are interested in them 
may be glad to possess a more detailed account of each than 
has hitherto been in print, and antiquaries may find a fresh 
illustration here and there of English country life in former 

The reader is indebted to Mr. Falconer Madan, Fellow of 
Brasenose College, Oxford, for the description and panoramic 
sketch of the view from Stinchcombe Hill. The author begs 
also to express his obligation to Mr. Yizard, of Ferney Hill, 


Dursley, for the loan of valuable printed books and manu- 
scripts ; and to Mr. "W. P. W. Phillimore, of Queen's College, 
Oxford, for many manuscript notes that have much facilitated 
his enquiries respecting Cam and Uley. The two views of 
Beverston Castle are Heliotype copies of Photographs by 
Mr. Keene, of Derby, the woodcut of the TJley Cairn is 
copied by permission from the Archseologia [vol. xlii. p. 213.] 
of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, and the plan of Uley 
Bury is from an earlier volume [xix. page 161.] of the same 
invaluable collection. 






CAM 165 


ULEY 213 


INDEX 239 


"View of Dursley from the Hill Frontispiece 

Long Street and Town Hall, Dursley 16 

Exterior of Dursley Church 64 

Interior of Dursley Church 72 

Great Tower of Beverston Castle 97 

Plan of one of the Chapels in Beverston Castle . . 118 

Barbican of Beverston Castle 140 

Outline plan of View from Stinchcombe Hill . . . . 205 

Entrance of Uley Tumulus 228 

Plan of Interior of Uley Tumulus 230 

Plan of Roman Camp of Uley Bury 233 


The picturesque little town of Dursley nestles down -in a 
Cotswold bottom which forms the end of a valley that opens 
out northward on to the vale of Gloucester, fifteen miles 
south of that City, just where the Severn begins to broaden 
into an estuary, with the Forest of Dean on its further bank, 
and beyond that the border hills across the Wye. All around 
the town the hummocky Cotswolds have been tumbled up in 
quaint mounds that look too large to be the work of pre- 
historic Titans, and too small to be the work of geological 
epochs ; while the town itself seems to lie at the bottom of a 
creek whose waters were drained off into the Severn a few 
thousand years ago. On the southern shore of this creek the 
slopes are clothed with lovely hanging woods of beech, while 
northward they are chiefly pasture lands, dotted here and 
there on their sides with cottages and " break-neck " farms, 
bearing clumps of trees on their summits, and marked by the 
enduring footsteps of the Roman Legions. 

The town has a railway all to itself, one of the shortest 
lines in England, yet effectually connecting it with the life and 
vigour and bustle of the busy world ; for it starts off, two 
and a half miles away, from the Gloucester and Bristol branch 
of the Midland line which runs through the Vale, and creep- 
ing along the bottom runs till it can run no further because 
of the ten or twelve miles of high land that lie between its 
terminus and the vale of Malmesbury. Some generations ago 


this branch railway would have turned Dursley into a busy 
manufacturing town after the modern pattern ; for there was 
a time when it was famous for its cloth and blankets, and 
when other towns came to it for woolcards wherewith to 
turn tangled wool into fibres fit for the spinners and weavers. 

But the manufacturing days of Dursley belonged to the 
ages when spinners and weavers worked at home, when steam 
engines had not been heard of, and when water power was 
the only force in use to supplement the power of strong arms 
and skilful hands: when manufactures did not bring 
desolation to lovely landscapes, and when the Cotswolds were 
a great pasture ground like the downs of Wiltshire. !Xow, 
Stroudwater turns the mill wheels of many a large factory, 
and scantly watered Dursley has subsided into a market for 
agricultural produce gathered off the arable land into which 
so many Cotswold pastures have been broken up, though hill 
and vale still send good mutton to market, as well as many 
a dairyful of " single " and " double Glos'ter." l 

In the old English days of which it is the custom to speak 
as "Anglo-Saxon," Dursley was known as "Dersilege" or 
" Dureslega ; " and though no injustice is done to it when 
the town is called scantly watered as regards manufacturing 
power, yet its name is explained as being derived from "Dwr" 
and "ley" or "lege," which are very old English for water 
and pasture. If such be really its derivation Dursley gives 
a happy illustration even in its name of the way in which 
the Ancient Briton and the Saxon mingled together to form 

1 There is an old proverb about the Cotswold grain of ancient days 
on which Fuller discourses in his usual quaint style, " It is long 
coming as Cotswold Barley.' It is applied to such things as are slow 
"but sure. The Corn in this cold Country on the "Woulds, exposed to 
the winds, bleak and shelterless, is very backwards at the first ; but 
afterwards overtakes the forwardest in the country, if not in the 
Barn, in the Bushel, both for the quantity and goodness thereof." 
[fuller's Worthies Glouc. 377] 


the great nation of mixed blood: for "ley" is undoubtedly 
" Anglo-Saxon," and it is equally certain that our brethren 
across the border would claim " Dwr " for " Welsh ." That 
the town should derive its name from water is also probable 
from the circumstance that it seems to have originally 
gathered around the cluster of springs called the Broadwell. 1 
These springs, which rise vertically over a space about 15 feet 
square on the south side of the Church, maintain a constant 
head of pure water of that size and two feet deep, a life-giving 
supply for a rising town, and which might well supply a 
name to it also among primitive settlers on the land around. 
The overflow of the Broadwell forms a brook called the Ewelme 
from very ancient times, and this brook runs on to join the 
Cam river, the united waters flowing into the Gloucester 
and Berkeley Canal near Slimbridge. The Broadwell itself 
seems once to have gone by the name of Ewelme, and this 
was also once corrupted into K"ew Elme ; both which names 
are familiar as those of a village near Wallingford where a 
similar cluster of springs may be seen as a distinctive feature 
of the place bubbling out of the hill on which the Church 
and Hospital stand. 2 

1 There is a frequent charge of " xijd " in the early Church- 
wardens accounts for "riding the Broadwell," that is ridding it of 
rubbish. Later it runs " for cleansinge of y e broadwell." 

2 In ancient deeds of the Hospital the Berkshire Ewelme is called 
Aquelme, which seems to connect the syllable " Ew " with the 
Norman " Eau." The spring or brook which bounds King's College, 
Cambridge, on the west, and runs into the Cam is described in the 
Statutes as "aqua vulgariter l'ee nuncupata." So E-ton is the town. 
of water. Perhaps the second syllable may be explained by a 
quotation from Chaucer, 

" In world is none so clere of hewe 
The water is ever fresh and new, 
That whelmeth up with waves bright 
The mountenance of two fingers height " 
Ewell in Surrey is another village of springs. 

[Quoted in Lye's Junius' Etymokgicon 1743] 

B 2 


As the Roman Legions bivouacked on the hills near Dursley 
so some of them built villas in the valley, the remains of 
one sucl* villa, at least, having been discovered a few years 
ago under Stinchcombe Hill. 1 But the earliest historical 
notice \ve have' of the town is in connection with its ancient 
Lords, the Berkeleys of Dursley, who had their home on 
large estates here long before the Fitz Hardings had set their 
feet in England. They were of the Royal blood of England, 
Roger de Berkeley, Lord of Dursley immediately before the 
Conquest, being a cousin (of what degree is not on record) of 
Edward the Confessor. A large part of what is now the 
great Manor of Berkeley had become Crown property on the 
death of Earl Godwin and the exile of his son, Earl Sweyn : 2 
but Roger de Berkeley possessed a manor at Dursley when 
Doomsday Book was compiled, and thus seems to have 
escaped spoliation from the hands of the Godwins as well as 
confiscation at the Conquest. He also possessed lands at 
Cobberley, Siston, and Doddington, but the ancient residence 
of his family was Dursley, where they had built a Castle ; 
which existed as such when Berkeley was a Nunnery, as it 
was until it came into the hands of the Godwins first and 
then of the Crown. 

But the Conquest brought an accession of property to the 
Lord of Dursley, for Doomsday records that he not only had 
his old inheritance there, one hide (or 120 acres) of land, on 
which 'his Castle stood, and three hides (or 360 acres more) 
held on lease of the Crown, but that William I. granted to 
him the whole of the hundred of Berkeley and Berkeley 
Hernesse in fee farm at the yearly rent of 500. 17s. 2d. 
which was a mere bagatelle, though representing 8,000 or 

1 The site of it was on the StancomLe Estate, in the adjoining 
parish of North Nihley, and is now grown over with trees. The curi- 
osities dug up were sold in London. 

8 See the account of Beverston, page 101. 


10,000 of our money, considering the large extent of 
country comprehended in the grant. 

This Roger de Berkeley, the earliest 'of the family known, 
founded the Benedictine Priory of Stanley St. Leonard's, four 
miles from his Castle at Dursley, hut on the property of his 
hrother Ralph. Being wifeless and childless he retired to 
this monastery in his latter years, and died there some time 
after 1091. His brother Ralph had died before him, and the 
estates of both went to William son of Ralph, and nephew 
of the Lord of Dursley. William also became the founder 
of a Monastery, that of Kingswood near Wotton under-Edge, 
which was one of the earliest of the Cistercian Order in 
England, being founded in 1139, eleven years after the 
importation of that Order. Bishop Hooper, whose monument 
stands near the Palace at Gloucester, was a Cistercian Monk, 
and may, from his associations, have belonged to this Mon- 

But although the English Lords of Dursley had got on 
well with the Norman Sovereigns from the Conqueror to 
Henry I., the death of the latter unsettled them, and event- 
ually brought ruin on their estate. Henry's nephew, 
Stephen, obtained possession of the crown, but all his 
antecedents were foreign, his only association with England 
being that he was a grandson of the Conqueror. Henry's 
daughter, Matilda, the ancestress of all the Plantagenets, 
was an Englishwoman born, and when she fought with 
Stephen for her father's crown many Englishmen sided with 
her. But a woman on the throne would have been an 
intolerable novelty to others, and, notwithstanding their 
sympathies, the Berkeleys, that is William the founder of 
Kingswood and his son Roger, took the side of Stephen. 
The father was taken prisoner at a time when the forces of 
Matilda and her illegitimate brother, the great Earl of 
Gloucester, were triumphant, and he died in prison. The son, 


Roger, escaped for a time, but at the accession, in 1154, of 
Matilda's son, Henry II. as the successor of Stephen, the 
Lord of Dursley lost all his great estates, and they were 
granted by the King to Robert Fitz Harding, the founder of 
the family which afterwards took the name of Berkeley from 
them. 1 

Thus for a short time Dursley Castle and Manor passed 
into the hands of the Fitz Hardings. But eventually inter- 
marriages were brought about between the sons and daughters 
of the gainer and the loser. Roger de Berkeley's daughter, 
Alice, was married to Robert Fitz Harding' s son Maurice, 
and Robert de Berkeley, son of the former was married to 
Helena Fitz Harding, daughter of the latter. These friendly 
marriages are said to have been brought about by the young 
King himself, and he made it a condition that Dursley Castle 
should be restored to Roger de Berkeley and his successors, 
a new Castle being built at Berkeley for the Fitz Hardings. 

By this compromise, therefore, Dursley reverted to the 
ancient English family which had so long held it, and it 
afterwards descended from father to son in regular suc- 
cession until the year 1382, when the last son of the line 
died without children. Upon his death the Castle and Manor 
passed to his sister Maud, who was married to Roger de 
Cantelupe. From her, by several generations of daughters 
it descended to a representative of the old Berkeleys who 
was married to Thomas Wyke, and then for about a century 
it passed by male heirs to Robert Wyke, who sold it in 1567. 

The descendants of these old English Berkeleys of Dursley 
down to Maud de Cantelupe are shewn by the pedigree on the 
next page. The descent of the Wykes is also shewn, but 
the connecting link between them and Maud de Cantelupe is 
not certainly established. 

1 See account of Beverston, page 102. 

Descent of the BERKELEY* of DUBSLEY 
and the WYKES. 

ROGER DE BERKELEY [temp. Edw. Conf.] 

William [founder of Kingswood Priory] 

Roger = Ha wise [temp. Stephen] 

Maurice = Alice 
son of Robert 
Fitz Harding 
[Seep. 105.] 


Arg. a fess between 
three martlets, sa. 

Robert = Helena, dau. of 

| Robert Fitz Harding 

Roger =Hawise 

Henry = Agnes 


John = Sybil 

Henry = Joan 

1287 | 

d. s. p. 

d. s. p. 


John = Ha wise 


Cicely =Nicholas Maud = Robert de Cantelupe 
d. s. p. 1 



Richard Chedder 

Thomas Wyke= 

* 1474 I 


14 . . I 

Edmund Wyke= 

* 151 . | 

Nicholas Wyke= 

* 1554 


John Wyke 



By the time that the Castle and Manor were thus alienated 
from their ancient possessors, the Wykes, their lineal repre- 
sentatives, seem to have fallen into poverty. " I have divers 
times, within twenty-six years past," writes Smyth the 
historian of the Berkeleys, about 1620, "beheld Mr. Wikes 
(the heire of this ancient lyne,) then not more old than 
poore, in Chancery Lane and in Fleet Streete, London, 
picking up the shreds of rags cast into the streets from 
the sweepings of taylers' and seamsters' shopps, to get 
thereby a farthing token for his sustenance : somewhat harsh 
to be written by one, when myself, and others then in my 
company, knowing his honourable descent, and seeing his 
present condition, have given him sixpence or twelvepence 
from amongst us, concealing ourselves and eke our know- 
ledge of him: howbeit, conscious of his ancestors and 
discent (and of the mount from whence hee was tumbled 
down,) hee would never begg of any, for ought I could ever 
see or learne." * Of the old castle of this ancient family 
nothing now remains. Rudder says that in his time the ruins 
of the foundations were still visible in a garden which formed 
part of " Castle Fields" about a quarter of a mile north- 
west of the town, these fields being on the right hand of the 
road, immediately opposite the Rectory : and the inequalities 
of the ground shew that the foundation walls still, probably, 
remain there. Leland says that it was built of " Towfe 
Stone," and that it had a moat around it, but that it had 
fallen into decay, and when he visited the town, about 
1530, it was clean taken down. It had, in fact, been taken 
down by Edmund Wyke for the sake of the materials, which 
he had removed to Dodington for the purpose of building the 
Manor House there. Smyth wrote in the middle of the 
seventeenth century that the ruins which still remained were 
" fruitfull with Barley and Woode there growinge." 

1 Quoted from Smyth's MS. Lives of the Berkeleys p. 92, in 
Fosbrooke's Gloucest. i. 428. 


It may be doubted whether Dursley was ever a town of 
its present size in mediaeval times ; and while it was thus 
the residence of the old Berkeleys its feudal connection with 
that family was probably the life of the place. But it is 
spoken of in the reign of Edward I. [A.D. 1281] as one of the 
five ancient boroughs of Gloucestershire, and was therefore a 
place of some dignity though not of much size. It was 
made a market town by a charter of Edward TV., granted 
in the year 1471 at the petition of the Marquess Berkeley, 
or at least no earlier charter is known. 1 About the same 
time the Church was being enlarged and the ecclesiastical 
position of the town made independent of the monastery of 
Gloucester, to which it had formerly belonged ; and this con- 
junction of circumstances seems to indicate that Dursley was 
undergoing some change which was raising the number of its 
population and making it a place of more importance. Pro- 
bably this was the time when Dursley began to take its share 
in the revived and almost newly-created Cloth manufacture 
for which England, especially in Gloucestershire and York- 
shire, was afterwards to become so famous. Fifty or sixty 
years later, when Leland collected materials for his Itinerary, 
he calls it " a pretty clothing town," and the change in its 
fortunes is indicated not long afterwards by the change in the 
name of its leading man, Wyke the representative of the 
old feudal interest giving way to Webb the representative of 
the new manufacturing interest which was then beginning to 
grow strong. 

Mr. Webb's name appears in the Churchwarden's Register 
as early as 1566, about which time a Robert Webb received 
a patent from Queen Elizabeth privileging him to farm for 

1 This is the date given by Bigland from Archdeacon Parsons' 
MSS. But Leland says the town was " privileged at nine years since 
with a Market." This grant by Henry VIII. may have been a 
renewal of the old privilege. It was again renewed in 1612. 


31 years the taxes on all woollen cloth that was sold in 
Gloucester and Bristol. But the "Webbs were already an old 
clothing family, for according to Fuller the founder of their 
family was a Flemish cloth maker invited over to England by 
Edward III. and dubbed by the King with an English name 
appropriate to his calling. One of the family seems to have 
built a Mansion in Dursley so early as the reign of Henry 
VIII., an old house bearing outside the date 1520, and on 
a beam within the Cypher E. W. and date 1539. Descend- 
ants of these elder "Webbs were still clothiers at Nails worth 
so lately as the beginning of this century, the family being 
thus engaged in the trade for nearly 500 years. 

But the mention of Fuller's name is a reminder that he 
put into his Church History of Britain a charmingly quaint 
account of the re-establishment of this staple industry in 
England which will amuse the reader and perhaps give some 
information not very generally possessed on the subject. 

" The King and state " says Fuller " began now to grow sensible 
of the great gain the Netherlands got by our English wool ; in 
memory whereof the duke of Burgundy, not long after, instituted 
the Order of the Golden Fleece ; wherein, indeed, the fleece was ours, 
the golden theirs, so vast their emolument by the trade of clothing. 
Our King therefore resolved, if possible, to reduce the trade to his own 
country, who as yet were ignorant of that art, as knowing no more 
what to do with their wool than the sheep that wear it, as to any 
artificial and curious drapery ; their best clothes then being no better 
than friezes, such their coarseness for want of skill in their making. 
But soon after followed a great alteration, and we shall enlarge 
ourselves in the manner thereof. 

The intercourse now being great betwixt the English and the 
Netherlands, (increased of late, since king Edward married the 
daughter of the earl of Hainault,) unsuspected emissaries were em- 
ployed by our king into those countries, who wrought themselves 
into familiarity with such Dutchmen as were absolute masters of their 
trade, but not masters of themselves, as either journeymen or 
apprentices. These bemoaned the slavishness of these poor servants, 
whom their masters used rather like Heathens than Christians, yea, 


rather like horses than men ! Early up and late in bed, and all day 
hard work and harder fare, (a few herrings and mouldy cheese,) and 
all to enrich the churls their masters without any profit unto 

But how happy should they he if they would but come over into 
England, bringing their mystery with them, which would provide 
their welcome in all places ! Here they should feed on fat beef and 
mutton, till nothing but their fulness should stint their stomachs : yea, 
they should feed on the labours of their own hands, enjoying a 
proportionable profit of their pains to themselves ; their beds should 
be good, and their bed-fellows better, seeing the richest yeomen in 
England would not disdain to marry their daughters unto them ; and 
such the English beauties, that the most envious foreigners could not 
but commend them. 

Liberty is a lesson quickly conned by heart ; men having a principle 
within themselves to prompt them, in case they forget it. Persuaded 
with the premisses, many Dutch servants leave their masters and 
make over for England. Their departure thence (being picked here 
and there) made no sensible vacuity; but their meeting here all 
together amounted to a considerable fulness. With themselves, 
they brought over their trade and their tools ; namely, such which 
could not as yet be so conveniently made in England. 

Happy the yeoman's house into which one of these Dutchmen did 
enter, bringing industry and wealth along with them. Such who came 
in strangers within their doors, soon after went out bridegrooms, and 
returned son-in laws, having married the daughters of their landlords 
who first entertained them. Yea, those yeomen in whose houses they 
harboured soon proceeded gentlemen, gaining great estates to them- 
selves, arms l and worship to their estates. 

The king having gotten this treasury of foreigners, thought not fit 
to continue them all in one place, lest on discontent they might 
embrace a general resolution to return ; but bestowed them through 
all the parts of the land, that clothing thereby might be the better 
dispersed. Here I say nothing of the colony of old Dutch, who 
frighted out of their own country with an inundation, about the reign 
of king Henry I. possibly before that nation had attained the cunning 
of cloth-making, were seated only in Pembrokeshire. This new 
generation of Dutch was now sprinkled everywhere, so that England 

1 This assumption of arms by the old clothing families of Dursley, Cam, and 
TJley is very conspicuous on their monuments. 


(in relation, I mean, to her own counties) may bespeak these inmates 
in the language of the Poet : Qua regio in terris vcstri non plena 
{aborts ? Though generally, where left to their own choice, they 
preferred a maritime habitation. 

EAST. 1. Norfolk, Norwich Fustians; 2. Suffolk, Sudbury Baize; 
3. Essex, Colchester Sayes and Serges; 4. Kent, Kentish Broad 

WEST. .1. Devonshire, Kerseys ; 2. Gloucestershire, Cloth ; 
3. Worcestershire, Cloth ; 4. Wales, Welsh Friezes. 

NORTH. 1. Westmoreland, Kendal Cloth; 2. Lancashire, Man- 
chester Cotton ; 3. Yorkshire, Halifax Cloths. 

SOUTH. 1. Somersetshire, Taunton Serges ; 2. Hampshire, Cloth; 
3. Berkshire, Cloth; 4. Sussex, Cloth. 

I am informed that a prime Dutch cloth-maker in Gloucestershire 
had the surname of WEB given him by king Edward there ; a family 
still famous for their manufacture. Observe we here, that Mid- 
England, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridge, having 
most of wool, have least of clothing therein. 

Here the Dutchmen found fullers' earth, a precious treasure ; whereof 
England hath, if not more, better than all Christendom besides : a 
great commodity of the quorum to the making of good cloth, so that 
nature may seem to point out our land for the staple of drapery, if the 
idleness of her inhabitants be not the only hinderance thereof. 
This fullers' earth is clean contrary to our Jesuits, who are needless 
drugs, yet still staying here, though daily commanded to depart ; 
whilst fullers' earth, a precious ware, is daily scoured hence, though 
by law forbidden to be transported. 

And now was the English wool improved to the highest profit, 
passing through so many hands, every one having a fleece of the 
fleece, sorters, combers, carders, spinsters, weavers, fullers, dyers, 
pressers, packers : and these manufactures have been heightened to 
a higher perfection since the cruelty of the Duke de Alva drove over 
more Dutch into England. But enough of this subject : which let 
none condemn for a deviation from Church History : First. Because 
it would not grieve one to go a little out of the way, if the way be 
good, as this disgression is, for the credit and profit of our country. 
Secondly. It reductively belongeth to the Church History, seeing 
many poor people, both young and old, formerly charging the parishes, 
(as appeared by the account of the church-officers,) were hereby 
enabled to maintain themselves." [Fuller's Church Hut. vol. i. pp. 418- 
420. ed. 1837.] 


The connection of Dursley with spinning and weaving is 
indicated not only by the name of Webb. In the Parish 
Eegister there are frequent entries in which the person is 
designated as Clothier, Shearman, Millman, "Weaver, Broad- 
weaver, Silkweaver, Matmaker, Drawer, Scribbler, and 
Card-maker. 1 Mr. Webb is also sometimes called " alias 
Woolworth," and the name of " Woolwright" occurs early in 
the register of the neighbouring parish of Cam. 

But it is to be feared that there is also another trace of the 
old Dursley manufacture in a certain proverb of wide accep- 
tance, " You are a man of Dursley." Fuller says, " It is taken 
for one that breaks his word and faileth in performance of his 
promises, parallel to 'Fides Grreca,' or 'Fides Punica.' " 
De Foe, in his " Tour through Great Britain," says that 
Dursley is " a good clothing and market-town governed by a 
bailiff and four constables, and has been formerly noted for 
sharp, over-reaching people ; from whence arose a proverbial 
saying of a tricking man, ' He is a man of Dursley.' " There 
must have been something damaging to reputations in the 
cloth trade, for has not the world been accustomed to use the 
same sort of language of a " Yorkshireman ? " But then 
there really were complaints to Parliament in early days 
[A.D. 1399.] that Gloucestershire not to say Dursley-men 

1 " Scribbling " is the process by which the dressed wool is tortured 
by scrubbing brushes of brass into the form of a continuous sheet or 
"lap." The process of "carding" is of a similar kind, but it con- 
verts the "lap" into small rolls about half an inch in diameter, 
which are afterwards twisted by the " slubbing-billy " and the 
" spinning-mule " into yarn fit for spinning. 

The " cards " which were formerly and are still made in Dursley are 
now turned out in a state of great perfection by machinery. They may 
be described as scrubbing brushes in which the bristles are represented 
by wire and the wooden backs by thick leather. After having served 
their time with the spinners they are very useful to Church restorers 
for scrubbing off churchwardens' whitewash. 


" tacked and folded together " their lengths of cloth in such 
a manner, that though they looked sound enough on the 
outside of the roll they were bad in colour and narrow in 
width, and wrought of diverse wool (was it ' shoddy ' ?) in 
the part within. And when this was cured by one Act of 
Parliament another was required enacting that cloths were 
not to be overstrained to give them a false appearance of 
length and breadth, 1 not to have starch or chalk put in to 
increase whiteness or weight, nor to be mixed with inferior 
wools such as flocks and pell wool. 

Could it have been Dursley that the Bishop of the Diocese 
that very plain-spoken preacher old Latimer had in his mind 
when he preached as follows about certain loud " professors of 
the Gospel ? " "I hear say " he preached " there is a certain 
cunning come up in the mixing of wares. How say you : 
* were it not a wonder to hear that the cloth- workers should 
become 'poticaries ? ' Yea and 1 hear say in such a place, 
whereas they have professed the Gospel and the word of God 
most earnestly of a long time, ' See now busy the devil is to 
slander the word of God.' Thus the poor Gospel goeth to 
wrack. ... If his cloth be seventeen yards long he will set 
him on the rack and stretch him out with ropes, and rack 
him till the sinews shrink again while he hath brought him 
to eighteen yards. When they hath brought him to that 
perfection they have a pretty feat to thick him again. He 
makes me a powder for it, and plays the 'poticary : they call 
it flock powder they were wont to make beds of flocks, and 
it was a good bed too, now they have turned the flocks to 
powder, and play the false thieves with it. Oh ! wicked 

1 In the old days when Shrewsbury still had a market hall for 
Welsh flannels there was an old buyer who won for himself the name 
of "Tarn o' th' broad thumb," for the dexterity with which he added 
the width of his thumb, liberally taken, to every yard of cloth as 
he measured it before paying the Welshmen. 


devil, what can he not invent to blaspheme God's word! 
Woe worth that these flocks should slander the word of God ! 
As he said to the Jews, 'thy wine is mingled with water,' so 
might he have said to us of this land, ' thy cloth is mingled 
with flock powder.' " 

But those were old times. Bishop Latimer preached 
against racking cloth and filling it up with " devil's dust," 
just fifteen years before Mr. Thomas Thackham began to keep 
the Churchwarden's book which has told us so much of the 
history of Dursley in the following pages. In the next 
century an equally plain spoken old Churchman who has been 
previously quoted so largely seemed to think better of 
Dursley spinners. " Dursley is a market and clothing town 
in this county," says Fuller, " the inhabitants whereof will 
endeavour to confute and disprove this proverb ; to make it 
false now, whatever it was at the first original thereof. 
Besides, the worst places, in the midst of epidemical vicious- 
ness, have afforded some exception from the wicked rule 
therein. " The Cretians are always lyars," was the observa- 
tion of a Poet, and application of the Apostle ; yet we find 
some Cretians whom the Holy Spirit alloweth for ' devout 
men.' Thus sure I am, there was a man of Duresley, who was a 
man of men, Edward Fox by name, a right godly and gracious 
Prelate, of whom hereafter. However the men of Duresley 
have no cause to be offended with my inserting this proverb ; 
which if false, let them be angry with the Author, the first 
man that made it; if true, let them be angry with the 
Subject, even themselves who deserve it." And let us hope 
that the men of Dursley took the old Church Historian's 
advice a long while ago, and that the proverb " You are a 
man of Dursley " lost its sting many generations gone by. 

But Proverbial Philosophy has dealt rather harshly with 
the town of Dursley. A century or so ago it was known to 
its enemies as " Drunken Dursley," a name which there is 


no reason to think that it ever deserved, and which it 
evidently owes to the terribly tempting trick of alliteration. 
Another hard reflection on the character of Dursley folk took 
the form of rhyme : 

" Dursley baboons 
Who 'yet their pap a'thout any spoons." 

Now " pap " was the " hasty-pudding " or " parritch " 
which formed the evening meal of Gloucestershire labourers, 
and doubtless of Gloucestershire artizans also, before the 
invention of tea and potatoes. They concocted it of wheat 
flour, though in hard times of barley-meal and butter-milk ; 
and well-to-do-people used to add a little treacle to make it 
more tastey. In Lancashire the forefathers of the manu- 
facturers who now " eat off 1 silver plate " were accustomed to 
eat a similar porridge of oatmeal, and they ate it out of great 
wooden trenchers. The master and his apprentices sat to- 
gether around a table, in the centre of which was placed the 
bowl of " pap," and each with his wooden spoon took his dip 
of the savoury supper till the porringer was empty. No 
doubt Dursley manufacturers once did the same : but the 
statement that they fed like monkeys, and that they dispensed 
with the use of spoons, need hardly be taken as historical. 
Perhaps such allegations were malicious slanders of some 
envious rivals the name of whose town history has charitably 
left unrecorded. 

That such was the case is a conjecture confirmed by the 
imputations cast upon the cookery of Dursley, and especially 
of its porridge, by a Yorkshireman named John Jackson, 
who wrote " A Diary of a Journey to Glastonbury Thorn," 
from "Woodkirk in his own county, a journey made in the 
Autumn of the year 1755. In this Diary, which has been 
recently printed in the " Reliquary," he relates that on his 
return home he spent the night of January 4th, 1756, in 
Dursley, and thus spitefully he records his experiences of the 


" At morn I left Philip Jones [at Berkeley] and went and 
took leave of my very good friend Mr. William Jenkins, and 
both found and left him sewing Sail Cloth, and I tarry'd a 
good while and we discoursed very freely, and I was very 
civilly entertained and had some copper coin given at my 
coming away. And so I set off for Dursley, and lodged at 
Robert Goodwins, ye Sign of the White-Hart in Dursley, 
and in Dursley is a neat beautiful Market House, and in this 
town I saw 2 swine lay killed and burnt as black as a 
toad, and one lay on a table and ye other ith' mucky miiy 
way, ye ugliest object I thought yt ever my eyes beheld, 
and that and more of their cookery is more proper for dogs 
and swine than men. Their toad-back bacon l and Cabbage- 
kettle stinking porrage like Traynoyl or like the stink of 
ye Hog Sty." Mr. Jackson then quotes, with other verses, 
these : 

" God sends good meat, the Deel sends Cooks 

To spile and marr the same ; 
With sulky, saucy, simpering looks, 

Maid, Mrs., and Mad Dame." 

Woodkirk is now better known as Ardsley West, and being 
near Wakefield in the West Riding has a good deal to do 
with coal and woollen cloth. But it may be safely asserted 
that no Dursley clothier ever wrote of it, or of its Maids and 
Madams, in such uncomplimentary terms as John Jackson 
did of his Gloucestershire entertainers. 

1 " Toad-back-bacon " is a term known in Gloucestershire for bacon 
that has been smoked in the chimney until it is black on the outside, 
and hard within. North country people seldom smoke their hams or 
bacon, and the Yorkshireman's palate was evidently not yet trained 
to the more luxurious bacon-curing habits of the West of England. 
The " Cabbage-kettle indicates a time when Cabbages were the staple 
vegetable of a poor man's household, the " potatoe-pot " being a 
novelty introduced about the end of the last century. 


When this visit was paid to the town its clothing trade 
was in full vigour. Rudder writes of it, in the middle of 
the last centuiy, as having enriched many of its inhabitants, 
and as being still, with card-making, their chief support. 
Rudge, writing about 1803, says that it was at that time 
carried on by means of the best machinery by John and 
Edward "Wellington, "William Phelps, and Mr. Tippets. In 
the present day not a yard of cloth, and not much card, 
owes its origin to Dursley manufacture : but some of the old 
Dursley clothing families have become large landowners and 
county people, and have doubtless become so through per- 
severing adherence in prosperous times to a proverb said to 
be indigenous to the neighbourhood, " Saving must equal 


Dursley has never been incorporated by Royal Charter, 
but it is a Borough by prescription ; and it was called one of 
the five "ancient," or prescriptive, boroughs of Gloucester- 
shire so long as 600 years ago. Its municipal head has the 
title of Bailiff, and those who have served the office of 
Bailiff receive the honourable title of Aldermen. The officers 
under the Bailiff are 

Two Constables. 

Two Carnals, or Meat Inspectors, now called Cardinals. 

Two Ale Conners or Tasters. 

One Hayward. 

One Crier. 

One Leather sealer, not appointed lately. 
The Bailiff represents the ancient English "Reve" or gov- 
ernor elected to preside over themselves by the inhabitants 
of a Borough, and hence called the Borough -reve, or in port 


towns and cities, as in London, the Port-reve. A similar 
officer was elected by the freeholders of a county and was 
called the Shire-re ve : and as " Sheriff" is the shortened form 
of Shire-reve so possibly " Bailiff" (though usually said to be 
of Norman origin) is a corrupted form of Bailiwick-reve, the 
tendency of popular pronunciation being always in the 
direction of making hard words easy. But whether the 
present title of this head municipal officer is Norman or 
" Anglo-Saxon " it is certain that his office existed under the 
title of Borough-reve, either by Royal grant or by custom, 
long before the Norman Conquest, and that the un-chartered 
Corporation of Dursley represents the most ancient form of 
English municipal institutions. 

Until the time of the Norman Conquest both towns and 
counties had the privilege of electing all their officers except 
the County " eorlderman " or Earl, and as he was, officially, 
much what the modern Lord Lieutenant is, so among the 
ranks of the nobility he represented the Continental " Count" 
or " Consul; " the same Latin word " comes" being used for 
both. But when the out-at-elbows Normans got possession 
of England, through the too easy hospitality which we 
always show to foreigners, the principal object of the new 
comers was to enrich themselves at the expense of the 
English, and hence William the Conqueror's government was 
almost entirely one in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
was Prime Minister : a government for the collection of taxes. 
Moved by these Whig principles the Conqueror substituted 
Crown officers in every direction for the old officers who had 
been elected by the people themselves : so that instead of the 
old Shire-re ves there came Viscounts [ Vice-comites], and 
instead of the old Borough-reves there came Provosts 
[Prcepositi], both kinds of officers being neither more nor less 
than publicans and sinners whose duty was to extort the utmost 
possible amount of revenue from the conquered people. 

c 2 


Thus instead of its ancient domestic system of local govern- 
ment by a Borough-reve or home elected Bailiff, Dursley had 
thrust upon it a stranger appointed by the Crown, a Crown 
Bailiff, whose only orders in respect of government were to 
get all the money he could out of the oppressed inhabitants 
of the town. 

But although the Normans got the better of the old English 
people for a generation or two, time worked its revenges, 
the conquerors were absorbed into the ancient nationality, 
and the cry for a restoration of " the laws of Edward the Con- 
fessor," which was so often heard at the court of our Norman 
Kings, was only an indication of the persistent determination 
with which Dursley (and the rest of England) " harked 
back " upon old national institutions. At length, in the 
thirteenth century, when Kings of England began to speak 
English again, and even the titled nobility were getting less 
Frenchified, the obnoxious Crown Bailiffs were turned out of 
the house, and the old system of municipal Government was, 
to a great extent, restored. The larger towns were permitted 
to revive their Borough-reves, under the new title of Mayors, 
and subject to such regulations as were laid down in the 
Royal Charters by which the privilege was conceded to them. 
In the smaller towns, or those to which Charters were not 
granted, such as Dursley, Westminster, and Southwark, the 
ancient system was revived without any other change than 
the alteration of the head officers' title from " Borough-reve " 
to" " Bailiff ; " if, indeed, even that was a change. In later 
times, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the borough of 
"Westminster, not long before made a city by the appointment 
of a Bishop, had its ancient government modified and then 
stereotyped by Act of Parliament. Dursley and Southwark 
were left untouched, but the latter being less fortunate than 
the former possessed an overwhelming neighbour, and the 
City of London has so absorbed the Borough of Southwark 
that scarcely more than the title of Bailiff is left to indicate 


its ancient independence ; the Alderman of the " Bridge "Ward 
"Without," and the Magistrates of the County of Surrey,, 
usurping nearly the whole of his jurisdiction. 

The original mode of electing the Bailiff of Dursley would 
be by the vote of all the people of the town at an open-air 
court or " hustings," the last representative of which was the 
hustings court for the nomination (and election if there was 
no opposition requiring a poll) of Members of Parliament. 
But election at the hustings court of the borough at large 
has long been superseded by election at the Court Leet, 
which is the borough by representation in the form of a jury 
presided over by the Steward of the Manor of Dursley. 
Perhaps it was found that the introduction of cloth manu- 
facturing roughened the edge of Dursley manners ; and that 
the courteous system of " give-and-take " with which elections 
used anciently to be carried on in the borough, was sup- 
planted by strong party-spirit and disorderly tumults. So 
the lovers of order fled to the ancient institution of the Court 
Leet and its Jury, and looking on the latter as a fair repre- 
sentation of the Inhabitants, established the system of 
submitting to it the names of three persons, any one of 
whom is accepted by the town as its Bailiff when so chosen 
by a majority of the Jury. 1 

1 The following is the oath taken by the Bailiff: 
" You shall well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King and 
the Lord of this Leet in the Office of Bailiff within the Burrough 
Town of Dursley until you shall be thereof Discharged according to 
due course of Law : During which time you shall carefully see to 
the preservation of the King's Peace and to the good Government of 
this Burrough ; to the suppressing of Riots and unlawful assemblies 
and the punishment of offenders. You shall also see to the Weights 
and Measures that the sam e be according to the Standard and orders 
of this Kingdom ; You are likewise to look to Forestallers, Ingrossers, 
and Regrators of the Market and all other things appertaining to 
your office and which have accustomarily been used to be done for 


This election of the Bailiff of Dursley takes place at the 
sitting of the Court Leet on some day during the month of 
October : but the person elected does not enter upon his duties 
practically until New Year's Day, when his year of office is 
inaugurated by ecclesiastical solemnities and municipal 

After entertaining all the Aldermen at breakfast the 
Bailiff walks in procession with them to the Parish Church, 
accompanied by the Steward of the Manor, and attended 
by the officers of the Corporation : the Bailiff being clad 
in an official robe of scarlet bound with fur, and the Alder- 
men in gowns of a tawney colour. 1 Thus another good old 

the good Government of this Burrough you shall well and truly do 
and execute to the utmost of your knowledge and understanding, 

So help you God." 

1 In the reign of Edward the Sixth when the Privy Council gravely 
decided that the use. of black in mourning was a relic of idolatry, the 
official robes of Mayors and Aldermen began to be disused. Some 
towns made a stand against the innovation, and a little later the town 
books of Leicester contain an order that " from hensforthe all and 
every person that shall be elect and chosen to execute the office of the 
mayoraltye within the said town of Leycester, at every principal 
feast and other times accustomed shall wear for the honour of the 
King and Queen's Majesty and their successors, and for the worship 
of the said town, scarlet, as of ancient time it hath been accustomed ; 
upon pain of every person so chosen to the said office of mayoralty 
refusing the wearing of the said scarlet during his said time of 
mayoralty to forfeit and pay to the chamber of the town of Leycester 
five pounds." 

An improvement on this order graces the municipal records of 
Canterbury : for there, about the same time "Mr. Mayor is ordered 
to provide his wife the Mayoress with a scarlet gown and a bonnet of 
velvet upon the pain of forfeiting 10." [N $ Q. III. iij. 514., II. v. 
263.] Mistress Mayoress must have had a large following in the 
Town CounciJ. when this order was made : but silver cradles are still 
habitually provided for the ladies of municipal heads on certain 
interesting occasions. 


tradition is kept up, that of asking a blessing upon the 
exercise of civil authority by associating its assumption with 
a celebration of Divine Service. May the State in all its 
degrees long continue to value the blessings which it derives 
from association with the Church, and may the Church always- 
have reason to value its official recognition by the State. 1 

Nor must it be left unrecorded by the .pen of histoiy that 
the good old traditions of " civic hospitality " have been 
retained in Dursley as well as elsewhere. The very Church- 
wardens' Register bears traces of these traditions, for it 
records the expenditure of thirteen shillings in the year 1688 
on " six bottles of wine and a pound of Biskey that ye Bayley 
sent for to treat the Lord Bearkley : " and in 1704 a similar 
entry declares that 3. 10s. Od. was spent " For treating the 
Deacon," who was probably Archdeacon Parsons. These 
were exceptional cases of hospitality, and appearing where 
they do, may perhaps be ranked by the reader with the 
famous record that 

" Mr. Jones, of his great bounty, 
Built this bridge at the expense of the County." 
But the day on which the Bailiff enters on his office is always- 
celebrated by really hospitable entertainments, provided not 
out of the Church Rate or at the expense of the County, but 
from his own liberality. These entertainments are not exactly 
turtle-feasts or Mansion House balls, but they are such 
respectable equivalents for these as a small country town 
appreciates ; and although there is no salary attached to the 
office of Bailiff of Dursley, while the Lord Mayor of London 

1 In the Churchwardens' accounts for 1569 there is an entry 
" It. gathered on New Yeare's Eve vjs. iiid. spent of ye same xvjd." 
This seems to have some association with the Bailiff's admission to 
office on the following morning. But New Year's Day in England 
was at that time March 25th, and remained so until September, 1752, 
when the New Style was adopted. [See " Hoggling Money."] 


gets his 10,000 for his year of office, it is not on record 
that the one any more than the other ever flinches from the 
courteous hospitalities customary on his inauguration. Nor 
are such hospitable customs without a certain real constitu- 
tional value. The course of legislation ignores the office of 
Bailiff and shunts him aside when he could well perform 
many of the duties assigned to newly-invented officials : and 
it is well to keep up these honourable traditions, for they 
may prove to be a foot-hold by which he may some day 
regain a firmly established place among our borough insti- 

The Aldermen of Dursley are also the representatives of a 
most ancient municipal tradition. It seems as if the little 
town hidden among the shadows of the Cotswolds had been 
overlooked by the ruthless eye of " Reform " both in the old 
days when municipal reform meant the renewal of privileges, 
with or without reconstruction, by means of Charters bought 
at a great price from the Crown ; and in more recent times, 
also, when it mostly meant the destruction of everything that 
the reformers did not like or did not understand. 1 For a 
Corporation of Aldermen, as the term, is received in towns 
which have Charters, was unknown until the thirteenth or 
fourteenth centuries ; the borough eorlder-men of more 
ancient days being those who had been distinguished by 
having had some position of trust or honour assigned to them 
by their fellow-townsmen, and being thus ranked, ever after- 
wards, as honourable " elders " of the town. But the 
Borough-reve or chief magistrate was alone responsible for 
the government of the town, and whatever the aldermen did, 
they did either as his assessors and councillors, or as deputies 

1 Birmingham was the first borough to sell its ancient regalia after 
the passing of the Reform Bill. It was also one of the first to 
repudiate Vandalism as a part of Reform by having a new set manu- 
factured, after a Mediaeval design, a few years ago. 


acting under his authority. Little is known from records 
respecting the position and office before it was denned by 
Charters, but traditions in these matters are kept up with 
great exactness, and thus a later generation fairly represents 
one of a much earlier date solely from the custom of each 
generation doing as its predecessor had done. It may be, 
therefore, that the ancient office of Alderman was chiefly 
honorary as it seems always to have been within memory in 

The COURT LEET is the most ancient criminal court known 
to our constitution, although now superseded as regards the 
greater part of its jurisdiction, by the wide-spread net-work 
of the County magistracy. It consists of a jury presided over 
by the Steward of the Manor, as deputy to the Lord of the 
Manor; the Lord himself being, in the first instance, the 
representative of the jurisdiction of the Crown within the 
boundaries of his Manor. 

It is an institution which originated in the constitutional 
principle that every man should have at his door an authority 
for the redress of wrongs, the preservation of the sovereign's 
peace, and the enforcement of justice : thus answering, in 
a borough, to the Sheriff's " tourn " or periodical tour through 
his county. The Court Leet was empowered to take cog- 
nizance of all such criminal matters as are now carried to the 
Quarter-Sessions, or the Assizes, with the exception of those 
crimes that are punished with death. Knavish bakers and 
brewers it sent to the pillory, drunkards it set in the stocks, 
common scolds it placed on the ducking-stool or temporarily 
silenced with the gossips' bridle : and it inflicted fines where 
a pecuniary composition was considered a sufficient satis- 
faction of justice. And not one of its least merits is thus 
stated by a panegyrist : " The proceedings in the leet are 
without expense, the suitor pays no fees, and advocates or 
attorneys of course never enter it." \_RiUorfs Court Leet. 
2nded. 1809.] 


This list is taken from the Bailiff's Book ; the earlier part, 
from 1566 to 1758, having been carefully extracted for that 
book from the Churchwardens' Register, and preserving the 
original spelling of the names : 


1566 John Small wodd 

1567 James Smallwodd 

1568 Roger Pytt 

1569 Christoph. Webbo 

1570 William Berry 

1571 Richard Berry 

1572 William Webbe 


1579 Richard Marton 

1580 William Tratman 

1582 Alexander Biztoy 

1583 Thomas Tratman 

1584 Thomas Carvar 

1585 John Tiler 

1586 Richard Maxtone 

1587 William Purnell 

1588 Thomas Tratman 

1589 John Plomer 

1590 Thomas Austen 

1591 Richard Marten 

1592 Richard Brownynge 








1603 John Plomer 








1611 Maurice Tyler 

1612 Arthur Vizar 

1613 Richard Tippetts 

1614 John Martin 

1616 William Hardinge 

1617 Isaac Smyth 


1621 Richard Tippetts 

1622 Henry Trotman 

1624 William Harding 

1625 Thomas Hyett 

1626 Thomas Smyth 

1627 Richard Merick 

1628 Philip Biggs 

1629 Richard Browninge 




1630 Issac Smith 

1631 Richard Oliver 

1632 John Tyler 

1633 William Purnell 

1634 Nicholas Danger-field 

1635 George Grace 

1636 Isaac Smythe 

1637 John Browninge 

1638 Samuel Harding 

1639 William Hill 

1640 Henry Smith 

1641 John Tucker 

1642 Nicholas Danger-field 

1643 Nicholas Dangerfield 

1644 William Pitt 

1645 John Hodges 

1647 John Philips 

1648 Augustin Phillipps 

1649 George Martaine 

1650 William Tippetts 

1651 Henry Adye 

1652 John Arundel 

1653 Isaac Smith 

1654 John Purnell 

1655 Obadiah Webb 

1656 William Purnell 

1657 John Watkins 

1658 Josias Arundell 

1659 John Oliver 

1660 John TiU-Adams 

1661 William Partridge 

1662 Edmond Perrett 

1663 John Tucker 

1664 William Tippetts 

1665 Thomas Everett 

1666 Henry Smith 

1667 Samuel Symonds 

1668 John Arundell 

1669 William Smith 


1670 William Lytton 

1671 John Purnell 

1672 Arthur Crew 

1673 William Purnell 

1674 John Watkina 

1675 John Oliver 

1676 William Merrick 

1677 William Partridge 

1678 Daniel Knight 

1679 Thomas King 

1680 Thomas King 
1C81 William Tippetts 

1682 Samuel King 

1683 Richard Tippetts 

1684 Walter Maye 

1685 Jacob Wallington 

1686 John Williams 

1687 Isaac Smyth 

1688 William Lytton 

1689 Thomas Purnell 

1690 John Partridge 

1691 John Purnell 

1692 Benjamin Symonds 

1693 Samuel Clarke 

1694 John Webb 

1695 Robert Whateley 

1696 Richard Merrick 

1697 Thomas King 

1698 Joseph Pulley 

1699 Maurice Philips 

1700 Samuel King 

1701 Richard Tippetts 

1702 James Bayley 

1703 William Purnell 

1704 Jacob Wallington 

1705 Isaac Smyth 

1706 Isaac Smyth 

1707 John Philips, jun. 

1708 Maurice Smith 



A.D. A.D. 

1710 1751 

1711 1752 

1712 Roger Whateley 1753 

1713 William Symonds 1754 

1714 Josiah Arundell 1755 

1715 1756 

1716 1757 

1717 1758 

1718 1759 

1719 1760 

1720 1761 

1721 1762 

1722 1763 

1723 1764 

1724 1765 

1725 1766 

1726 1767 

1727 1768 

1728 1769 

1729 1770 

1730 James Selwyn 1771 

1731 Giles Hodges 1772 

1732 John Purnell 1773 

1733 Richard Oliver 1774 

1734 James Nicholas 1775 

1735 Samuel Wallington 1776 

1736 Thomas Morse 1777 

1737 Timothy Wallington 1778 

1738 Samuel Clarke 1779 

1739 Richard Cooper 1780 

1740 Jacob Stiff 1781 

1741 Thomas Purnell 1782 

1742 Josias Clarke 1783 

1743 Thomas Wallington 1784 

1744 William Browning 1785 

1745 John Moody 1786 

1746 John Gethern 1787 

1747 George Faithorne 1788 

1748 Nathaniel Lawson 1789 

1749 Joseph Till- Adam 1790 

1750 Richard Tippetts 1791 

Maurice Smith 
John Plomer 
Lewis Hoskins 
William Long 
Joseph Faithorne 
William Heaven 
John King 
William Plomer 
William Blake 
Samuel Lewton 
Thomas Cam 
Josiah Tippetts 
Samuel Phillimore 
Morgan Pully 
Hugh Everett, senior 
Thomas Morse, junior 
Thomas Tippetts 
Benjamin Smith 
Samuel Wallington 
Benjamin Millard 
Richard Williams 
Isaac Danford 
Isaac Jones 
John Ball 
William Roach 
William Drew 
Samuel Griffin 
William King 
Thomas Lewton 
Benjamin Millard, junior 
Daniel Dimory 
William Jackson 
John Wallington 
James Wheeler 
Nathaniel Blackwell 
Richard Williams, jun. 
Jonathan Hitchins 
Thomas Moore 
John Long 













1796 William Troughton 
1797 Edward Wallington 
1798 William Smith 


1799 James Player 


1800 John Harding 
1801 Thomas Richards 


1802 James Danford 


1803 John Millard 


1804 Samuel Trotman 


1805 John Wood 


1806 William Harris 


1807 George Harris 
1808 Samuel Champion 
1809 Harry Dimery 
1810 Richard Roe 


1811 John Cart wright 
1812 Thomas Clarke 


1813 Thomas Williams 


1814 Thomas Williams 


1815 John Trotman 


1816 Thomas Morse 


1817 Edward Bloxsome 


1818 Henry Vizard 
1819 Henry Vizard 
1820 Henry Vizard 
1821 Charles Vizard 


1822 Edward Wallington 
1823 William Fry 
1824 James Young 
1825 Charles Frederick 




1826 William Cox Buchanan 


1827 Baptist William Hicks 
1828 John Williams 


1829 Robert John Puraell 


1830 Edward West 


1831 John Wallington 
1832 John Wallington, 


George Vizard 

James Harding 

Joseph Player 

Robert Rowles White 

Edward Bloxsome 

James Hammet Howard 

Thomas Williams Richards 

John Tilton 

John Vizard 

Henry Bishop 

William Richards 

John Hurndall 

Charles King 

Joseph Shellard 

William Champion 

Edward Goodwin 

Charles Hamilton 

George Leonard 

Edward Augustus Freeman 

Edward Gazard 

Thomas Woods 

John Hurndall, junior 

Richard Godwin 

John Davis 

William Philip Want 

William Philip Want 

George Wintle 

Frederick Vizard 

Henry Moore 

Henry Moore 

Daniel Crump 

Charles Workman 

Henry Owen 

George Ayliffe 

Richard Gam 

George Wenden 

John Morse 

Thomas Trewren Vizard 

James Lang 

James Whitmore 

William Henry Hancock 

John Benjamin Champion 


The earliest authentic history of England is its Church 
History, and so it eventually proves in the case of every town 
or parish. But the ancient history of a place is often written 
"by the light of modern discovery, and much local observation 
and research is required before the necessary materials for 
such history, if they exist, can he pieced together. Such 
research and observation in respect to Dursley has been 
unfortunately neglected, and if the details of its early history 
are ever recorded it will be by some other writer. 


But when they are brought to light it will probably be 
found that Anglo British Dursley became a Christian town as 
soon as most places in Gloucestershire. Perhaps earlier than 
some, for the last homes of British heathenism appear to 
have been on the breezy plains and downs, while Dursley 
lies in a quiet valley such as early Christian missionaries, 
whose energies were not of a combative kind, loved to visit 
and settle down in. Moreover, the Roman armies were one 
means by which the world was Christianized, many a cen- 
turion and many a soldier having learned the faith from the 
lips and life of Apostolic men ; and Pudens, the .Gloucester- 
shire friend of St. Paul, being very probably at some time of 
his military life, quartered in the Roman Aldershott on Uley 
Bury. It may be reasonably concluded, therefore, that the 
proverb " God is in Gloucestershire " was true of those early 
days when the Lichfield martyrs, and St. Alban, and the 
first Christian Emperor, Constantine, bore witness by their 


lives and deaths to the Christianity of our then land of the 
far- west ; and that long before the fifth century the Chris- 
tianity which had become almost universal among the Romans 
had become so among their British subjects, the camp at Uley 
Bury bringing the standard of the Cross as well as the 
Imperial eagles to the knowledge of Dursley people. 

When, however, the heathen Germans seized upon the 
county which the Romans had first disarmed and then left 
unprotected, they came upon the Christian Britons as the 
Philistines came upon the Israelites in the days of Deborah 
and Barak : " was there a sword or a spear found in all the 
coasts of Israel ? " While they were making their swords 
and their spears they were driven step by step out of the 
southern counties until all who were left free had taken 
refuge among their Christian brethren in the Welsh valleys. 
It was some time before peaceful relations between the con- 
querors and the conquered were sufficiently established to 
permit of any Christian Britons coming eastward to evan- 
gelize the Saxons of the new kingdom of Mercia, of which 
Gloucestershire formed part, but Theocus the hermit l from 
whom Tewkesbury took its name was doubtless one among 
many who eventually did so : and in the seventh century the 
district around Dursley was comprehended within a great 
Christian trilateral of which the Abbeys of Gloucester 
[A.D. 680], Bath [A.D. 676], and Malmesbury [A.D. 673], 
formed the protecting fortresses. 

Thus we may well suppose the Church of Dursley to date 
from the days of early British Christianity, and if it was 
driven out of the quiet valley among the western Cotswolds 
by the Saxon invasion, its restoration would certainly take 

1 There was a hermitage on the high lands to the south-west of the 
town of Dursley, but whether it was an early one or only mediaeval 
there is nothing to shew. All we know is, that the last hermit was 
falsely accused of having stolen a horse in the year 1517. 


place when the Saxons themselves became English and 
Christian, and when the Monks of Gloucester as they explored 
the Vale passed up the streams of the Cam and the Ewelme 
until they found the end of the valley and the town that 
nestled there. 

It is almost a proverb in Gloucestershire that the Berkeleys 
"have always been great supporters of the Church, and there 
can be no doubt that the Church of Dursley prospered when 
it was under the protection of Dursley Castle. There seems, 
indeed, to have been an extensive range of Ecclesiastical 
buildings in the town near to the Church itself, a fine pointed 
arch near the , Broadwell having evidently belonged to some 
important structure, perhaps to the " Priory." Yet the only 
documentary evidence bearing on the subject is that which 
records that a grant of land was made in Woodmancote to 
the Nuns of Clerkenwell by Maurice de Gaunt of Beverston 
\_Dugdale* s Mbn. j. 432. old ed.~] ; and that in which is a refer- 
ence to the " Prioress of Dursley," which is contained in the 
Inquisition taken after the death of Thomas Lord Berkeley 
in the year 1417. 

But about the same time that the place began to rise in 
importance by becoming a clothing town, some considerable 
additions were made to the fabric of the Church, and the parish 
began to occupy a distinguished position as the Benefice and 
Cure of Souls of the Archdeacons of Gloucester. 

In Mediaeval times Dursley was one of the livings belong- 
ing to the Abbey of Gloucester, that Monastic corporation 
being Rector, and serving the Cure either by a permanent 
Ticar or by a clerical monk acting as Curate in sole charge, 
and liable to be at any time recalled and replaced by one of 
his brethren of the Abbey. This latter was the more common 
plan adopted by the Monasteries, and it occasionally 
happened, as at Tewkesbury, that there was a standing 
contention on the subject between the Monastery and the 


Bishop, the latter wishing to appoint a Vicar so that there 
might be a particular person always responsible for the care 
of the parish, and the other arrangement being more con- 
venient to the monks. But the Bishops had little or no 
authority in Monasteries, and many abuses arose in their 
dioceses from this interference with their jurisdiction. An 
opportunity arrived, however, which enabled the Bishop of 
Worcester the county of Gloucester being then part of 
his diocese to place Dursley on a better ecclesiastical footing. 
The Archdeacons of Gloucester had, in Mediaeval days,. 
a very large jurisdiction, extending over all the district 
which now forms the two dioceses of Gloucester and Bristol. 
They lived in Gloucester in an official residence, and it is- 
extremely probable that there was a standing rivalry between 
the semi-Episcopal Archdeacons and their near neighbours 
the semi-Episcopal Abbots. For this, or for some other 
reason, it was agreed between Alcock, Bishop of Worcester, 
and the Abbey of Gloucester, in the year 1475, that the 
Archdeacon should give up his residence in Gloucester, and 
that the house in which he had resided should become the 
property of the Abbey. As compensation for this advantage 
the Abbey made over to the Bishop all its rights in the parish 
of Dursley : and these the Kishop annexed to the Arch- 
deaconry. As the appointment to the Archdeaconry rested 
with the Bishop he thus became Patron of the Benefice of 
Dursley ; the Archdeacons becoming ex-officio Rectors of 
Dursley. This arrangement lasted for all but 400 years, 
namely, from 1475 until 1865. But it does not seem to have 
worked any better for the Parish than the old one, for the 
Archdeacons of Gloucester rarely resided in Dursley, and 
they mostly held other preferments. The list of them 
printed further on will shew that during the first sixty-five 
years after the change was made as many as five out of the 
eight Eectors of Dursley became Bishops. Since the Refor- 
mation only one has risen to the Episcopal Bench, namely 


Bishop Hurd, who became Bishop of Lichfield nearly 300 
years after 1475 : but the Rectors still continued to be 
pluralists, seldom lived on the spot, and often appointed as 
their Curates men of inferior position and abilities who were 
not competent to take the lead in so important a Parish. 

The ancient Church of the town was not originally so 
large as it is at present. It consisted only of the Nave, 
with a much lower roof, a Chancel which was probably much 
smaller than the present one, and a western tower sur- 
mounted by a spire, both of which were destroyed in 1699. 
There may also have been small aisles on either side of the 
Nave, but if so they were replaced by the larger ones now 
existing at a period not very long before the Reformation, 1 

These two larger aisles were built in connection with 
Chantry Chapels which occupied their eastern ends, the one 
in the North Aisle hence called St. Mary's Aisle being 
dedicated in the name of the Blessed Virgin, and that in the 
South Aisle in the name of the Holy Trinity. Nothing is 
known respecting the foundation of St. Mary's Chantry, but 
that of the Holy Trinity is traditionally known as the found- 
ation of Thomas Tanner, a merchant who lived in the middle 
of the fifteenth century, and whose effigy in the form of a 
stone cadaver has always stood at the east end of it That 
portion of the aisle is also called the " Tanner Chapel " in the 
Churchwarden's accounts of the following century, and has 
always been known by that name in recent times. 

Chantries were built, during the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries, for the purpose of containing Altars at which the 
Holy Communion might be specially celebrated for the de- 
parted souls of the persons who built them and of their 
relatives. Lady Chapels such as St. Mary's Aisle seems to 
have been were of earlier date and were used for the daily 
celebration of the Holy Communion as the daily service of 

1 A description of the Church will be found in the section on 
" Dursley as it is." 


the Church, independently of the special celebrations for 
departed persons which also took place there, and from which 
they too acquired the name of Chantries in later times. The 
Chantries were thus specially endowed by their founders, and 
Clergymen were presented to them by the Patrons who were 
not otherwise associated with the Church in which they were 
situated, and who were called " Chantry Priests." The 
special office of these extra-parochial clergy was abolished by 
Act of Parliament [1 Edw. VI. ch. 14.] in the reign of 
Edward VI., and their endowments were confiscated by the 

In the year 1546 Henry VIII. issued a commission of 
enquiry respecting all Colleges of Priests and Chantries 
throughout the country, as also did Edward VI., a second 
time, in the year 1548, and the returns made by these Com- 
missions being preserved in the form of " Certificates " among 
the Records of the Court of Augmentations, some particulars 
are still to be found respecting their original endowment and 
their final dissolution. The Certificate Rolls for the County 
and City of Gloucester and the City of Bristol contain the 
report of the Commissioners respecting the Dursley Chantries. 1 

From these reports it appears that " Our Lady's Service" 
was founded by persons whose names were not then known, 
and that it was endowed with lands and tenements by divers 
persons and the same put in feoffment with the rents and 
profits. Out of these endowments part had been used for 
the maintenance of a Priest to sing service at our Lady's 
Altar for the souls of the Founders and for all Christian souls ; 
and part had been distributed yearly among the poor. The 
lands were of the yearly value of 7. 19s. 8d. : the priest's 
salary being fixed at 6. 13s. 4d., the Poor receiving yearly 
13s. 4d., and rent amounting to 14s. having been " with- 

1 Abstracts were made by Benjamin W. Greenfield, Esq., in 1866, 
and have been used for this work by the kindness of John Vizard, 
Esq., of Ferney Hill, Dursley. 

D 2 


drawn by Nicholas "Wykes these 14 years past." l The value 
of the Ornaments of the Chapel was reckoned at 23s. 4d. in 
1546 and at 6s. 8d. in 1548 : but at the latter date there is 
reported, in addition, Plate and Jewels, weighing 23 ounces 
and worth 5. 7s. 4d. The Incumbent of the Lady Chapel 
in 1548 was Richard Berye, aged 58 years, and he had also 
a stipend of 2. 8s. Od. a year as Chantry Priest of Tokynton 
Chapel in the parish of Olweston. 

The " Trinity Service " was founded by divers persons not 
then known, and the lands put on feoffment for the maintain- 
ance of a Priest to sing at the Altar of the Holy Trinity in 
the said Parish Church, praying for the Souls of the 
Founders and Benefactors thereof and all Christian souls. 
The profits of the land and tenements belonging to this 
Chantry amounted to the yearly value of 7. 4s. 2d. ; the 
Ornaments were valued at 2. 13s. 4d. in 1546, and 13s. 4d. 
only in 1548, but in the latter year there are also entered 
Plate and Jewels weighing 17 ounces and worth 3. 10s. lOd. 
The yearly stipend of the Chantry Priest was 6. 13s. 4d., 
and the Incumbent in 1548 was Sir John Coderynton, who 
was eighty years of age and had no other living. 2 

It appears also from the report of 1546 that there was a 
third Chantiy in the Church of Dursley, which is called the 
" Service of Jesus " by the Commissioners. This was en- 
dowed with lands of the annual value of 5. 9s. 4d. " of 
whiche landes dyverse of them ar evicted and takyn away. 
That is to sey one parcell of grounde callid Whitchester 
worth by yere xvj s by one of Sir Willm Kyngstons servaunts 
aboute xij yeres last past ; and ij other parcells takyn away 
by one Nicholas Wykes Esquyer about ij yeres last past, by 
yere liij s - iiijd- And so ther remanyth nowe in the said 
ffeoffes hands xls wch they occupy to ther owne use." 

Where there were many Chantry Priests in a parish, or 

1 To bring these sums to modern money multiply by twelve. 

2 The title "Sir" was formerly given to the Clergy as that of 
" Reverend " is now given. 


perhaps in the neighbourhood of a central parish, they were 
accustomed to live together in a " College," such a College 
still standing at Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire. 
"Where the number was few, as at Dursley, their house of 
residence was called the " Chantry," and the house on the 
Church side of Long Street now known by that name is 
doubtless the one occupied by the Chantry Priests. From a 
taxation roll in the Worcester Register for 1513 it appears 
that there were then four Chantry Priests residing in Dursley, 
namely William Eogers, Richard Berye, Thomas a Powell, 
and Richard Salmon ; all four being called " chaplains." 

When the Crown had taken possession of the endowments 
and valuables belonging to the Chantries it interfered with 
them no further. The buildings themselves were sometimes 
retained by the representatives of the Founders as burial 
places and pews ; and in other cases, as at Dursley, they 
were incorporated with the Church of which they had formed 
a part ; the screens which alone divided them from the Church 
being mostly removed. 

These slight records respecting the dissolution of the two 
Chantries are unfortunately all that can be given with refer- 
ence to the early progress of the Reformation in Dursley, the 
eighteen stirring years between 1548 and 1566 being quite a 
blank. From the documents above quoted, however, one 
interesting particular is obtained, namely that in the end 
of Henry the Eighth's reign the parish numbered 500 
" houselling people " or communicants. 


For the parochial history of Dursley after the Reformation 
there is more material than for that of the preceding ages, 
for it was the good custom of the Churchwardens to keep 
their accounts and other memoranda in a thick folio volume 
which possesses a bulky dignity that has conduced to its pre- 
servation. This volume is called a Register, the name being 


taken from the books which were used for recording the Annals 
of Monasteries, and those which are still used as the official 
Journals of Bishops. It begins in 1566, and ends in 1758. 

The Chit rcJt teat-dens' Register. 

The title of this valuable volume was thus written on its 
first page by Thomas Thacham the senior Churchwarden in 
1566 : 

fi^f* A Book or Bigester prouyded to be a Ligear in the 
Storehouse to the vse of the p'ishe of Dursleye as well SOT 
the yearlie Accompts to be made by the Churchwardens 
as for the safe keaping in memorie of all those things that of 
right belongeth to the said p'ishe : wherein also anye mann 
yt will may haue his Testament or last will rege'sterid. &c. 
Dated the ffyrst day of April : in the yeare of the Lorde. 
1566. And in the Eight yeare of the Reigne of our 
Soueraigne Ladye Elizabeth by the grace of god Queene 
of England of frannce and Ireland Defender of the ffaithe. &c. 

Ecclesiastic. 42. Be not thou affraid if thou gyve any 
thing by nomber and weight to put all in wryting bothe that 
whiche is gyven owt and that which is receauyd againe. 

Si deus nobiscum quis contra nos : sed si Dominus contra 
nos quis nobiscum. Igitur in domino confido et non erubescam. 
Per me Thomam Thacham 
$3- Anno Dni 1566. % 

On the back of the title page Mr. Thacham has also written 
the following inscription : * 

This Book cotayneth xj Quires of paper. 

Wryte true and spare not. If thou blott yet spare not. 

Let wryting remayn : from cutting refrayne. 

1 A Thomas Thacham is mentioned by Foxe and Strype the 
Church Historians, who was a Grammar schoolmaster in Reading in 
1556, who received an appointment as a schoolmaster in Gloucester- 
shire, and who was a clergyman at Northampton in 1572. The 
Dursley Thacham knew more Latin than one would expect from an 
ordinary Churchwarden : was he this Schoolmaster ? See page 153. 

BRIEFS. 39- 

Too keepe your consience 
poure and there so may 
you be churchman another yere l 

In the accounts for the year is the enty " It. to Samuel 
Byrton for this register book iiijs. " The volume was rebound 
a hundred and twenty years afterwards, in handsome stamped 
leather with brass clasps, on the one cover being also stamped 
in gold letters " W.L. 1686 CHVRCH " and on the other 
" I.G. 1686 WARDENS," these initials standing for William 
Litton and John Grace. The initials "IS." are also stamped 
irregularly upon tlfe front cover, standing for Isaac Smyth 
who was Bailiff in that year. 

A search through this volume not only gives the reader 
some insight into the Ecclesiastical affairs of the parish of 
Dursley for two centuries, but also furnishes some curious 
illustrations of parochial matters that are now obsolete and 
forgotten. These latter may be noticed first. 


These were a relic of "rank Popery," being licenses to 
collect money in Churches, which were originally issued by 
the Pope, but when the Pope's authority in England was 
abrogated were issued by the Crown. In later times they 
were called " King's Letters " or " Queen's Letters," being 
in the form of " Letters Patent " but sealed with the Privy 
Seal instead of the Great Seal. 

1 This wise counsel may be supplemented by some parochial poetry 
which appears in one of the Overseer's account books of Dursley, 
about two centuries later, in the year 177o : 

" Epitaph on the late Overseer J. H." [i.e. John Hurlstone.] 
" Here lies one J . . n H . . 1 . . . ne that pinching Old Dog 
Why should he lie here, and so much like an Hog ? 
When on Earth not a Soul of him could speak well, 
The Cries of the Poor now reach him in Hell. 
He got up in the world by practicing Evil ' 
Then fulfilled the proverb and rode to the Devil." 


Briefs were granted at the pleasure of the Crown to those 
who petitioned for them in due form, and were addressed to 
all Archbishops, Bishops, Clergy, and Churchwardens, en- 
joining them to assist the petitioners in collecting money 
within their respective jurisdictions for the purposes specified 
in them. They were then read out in Church after the 
Nicene Creed, according to the ruhric still extant in the 
Prayer Book, and the collection made in Church. The pur- 
poses for which briefs were granted were very various, as may 
be seen by the following receipts given by the official collector 
to the Churchwardens, and either written on a page of the 
Register or on small printed forms which the Churchwardens 
have occasionally preserved by pinning them in. Some of 
earlier date are noticed under " Poor Relief " further on, 

"March ye 15th 1660. 1 

" Reed of ye Churchwardens of Dursley ye summe of foure 
shillings and seaven pence gathered there by a briefe for John 
Davis of Hereford, by me James Draper." 

" Reed of ye Churchwardens ye sume of five shillings and 
nine pence gathered at Dursley by a briefe for ye inhabitants 
of Esthagborne in barksheere 

by me Moris Lewis " 

" Collected for the Inhabitants of flimster the sume of ten 
shillings ten pence halfe peney " 

" Reed eight shillings and eight pence wh was gathered 
ye 26th of May 1661 for ye repairing of a Key or peare in 
Watchet in ye County of Somersett, and also five shillings 
and seauen pence halfepeny wh was gathered ye 2 day of 

1 Briefs appear by the following entry to have been issued by 
Cromwell during the time of the Commonwealth, " Anno Dom : 1653, 
August 1 . Collected in the pish of Durslye in comm* Glouster towards 
the releife of the Inhabitants of Maryborough the summe of ffourteene 
pound eight shillings and seauenpence. wee say 141. 8s. 0"d. When 
they had greate losse by fyar. 

Ob.** Webb." 


June 1661 towards repairing of ye Church of Condover in 
ye County of Salope 

Pr me Maurice Lewis for Jos Eglington 
High Constable." 

Other receipts entered in a similar manner are as follows : 
1661 Great Drayton, Salop, for loss 

by fire 6s 3d 

1661 Jan. 16. Elianor Davis, for house burned 4s Od 

1661 March 12. For Bridgnorth, Salop .. .. 4s 9d 
1661 March 13. Elmsley Castle, Worcester, for 

'afire 11s lOd 

1661 August 7. Henry Harrison, Mariner . . 7s Id 
1661 August 20 For A fire in London . . . 6s 5d 
1661 October 26 For the City of Oxford .. .. 5s 6d 
1661-2 February 19 For Several persons burned out 

at Quatt, Salop 3s 7d 

1661-2 March 12 For building Church of Bling- 

brooke, Lincolnsh 4s 3d 

1661-2 March 12 For "the prodisture Churches 
in the Dukedom of Lithu- 
ania " 27s 3d 

1664 August 16 For " Grantom " Lincolnsh. . . 6s Id 
1664 July 30 For repairing Church of Lyd- 

ney, Gloc 3s 8d 

1664 December 5 For Henry Lyster, of Gis- 

borough, Yorks . . . . 6s 8d 

1664 December 12 For repair of Basing Church, 

Southhamptonsh 3s Id 

1665 May 12 For fire at Broughyn, Herts 3s 9d 
1665 May 12 For repair of Witheham Church, 

Sufi . 3s Od 

1667 Feb 23 For redeeming " Captives out 

of Algerie and Salley and 
other parts of the turks 
dominions" . 12s 4d 


1669 Feb 20 For fire at Tiberton, Salop .. 6s 4d 

1670 April 24 For fire at Cotton end in 

the parish of Hardington, 

Northauts 8s Id 

1671-2 March 11 For fire at Oxford 18s ld 

1672 May 19 For fire at "ligrane in the 

County of Bedford." . . . . 8s 2f d 

1676 September 10 For repairing Oswestry Church 4s 7^- 

1676 October 15 For fire at Eton 7s Od 

For fire in Southwark . . . . 62s 4d 
For fire at Cottenham, Cambs. 11s 8d 

1677 Feb. 23 For fire at Wem, Salop .. .. 26s 8d 

For fire at Combe in the parish 

of Wotton 7s Id 

1978 May 17 For fire at Towcester, North- 
ants 6s 3d 

1678 May 17 For fire at Blandford, Dorset 4s lld 

1682 May 19 For building Church at Kid- 

welly Carmarthen . . . . 6s 4d 

1683 July 6. " For Westminster Brief " . . 8s 10d. 
1683 Oct. 1. For fire at Wapping .. 5. 2s 8d 
1683 Oct. 25 For fire at Newmarket 1 19s 2d 
1683 Oct. 25 For fire at Bradwinth, Devon 6. 9Jd 
1686 May 29 " Collected in ye p'ish of Dursley 

by a Briefe fro House to House towards 

ye reliefe of ye French Protestants" . . 211 

1686 Oct. 1 " Collected in ye p'ish of Dursley 

by a briefe fro House to House for White 
Chappell" 17 11 

1687 Dec. 5. " Collected in ye p'ish of Dursley 

briefe from House to House for Stanly 

St Leonards" 450 

1687 December 15 Stanley's Briefe " .. . . 85s Od 
1692 June 22 " for ye reliefe of Mr. Clopton 10s 6d 


1692 June 22 For fire at Hedon, Yorks. . . 4s 6d 

do do 3s 6d 

1692 November 17 For fire at Chagford .. ..31s Od 
For fire at " Drutige " . . . . 7s Od 
For fire at Elseworth . . . . 4s 8d 
For fire at Havant . . . . 6s 8d 

1694 January 8 For fire at York 18s 2d 

1694 January 22 For Nether Haven .. .. 11s lOd 
1694 April 2 For fire in Warwick .. ..81s 7d 

1694 July Forres at Gillingham, Wrock- 

wardine, Towyn, and Gran- 

chester 23s ld 

1694 Septr 1 Wooller brief 5s lOd 

1694 Septr 1 Yalding brief 4s 3d 

" Sep. j 1684 Receiv'd of the Minister and Church- 
wardens of the Parish of Dursley in the County of Gloucester 
the sum of one pound seventeen shillings sevenpence farthing 
being collected on their Majesties Letters Patent, for the 
Relief of the Poor French Protestants, bearing Date the 
31st of March, 1694. I say Receiv'd by me Tho : Burgis." 
After this date there are no notices of Briefs until we come 
to one which was granted for Dursley itself, of which 
particulars are given further on. Had Dursley ceased to 
contribute towards repairing the misfortunes of its neigh- 
bours ? And is it in retaliation for such want of charity that 
the parish books of Ormsby St. Margaret, near Yarmouth, 
have the following entry in the year 1707 ? 

"November 16. Collected to ye rebuilding of Dursley 
Church and steeple fallen downe in ye County of Gloucester, 
one peny." l 

But the system of collecting by Briefs was full of abuse r 

1 See a list of about one hundred Briefs that were collected during 
thirty-three years in Onnshy Parish, printed in Notes $ Queries 2nd 
Series, ij, 222. 


sometimes the briefs were farmed, at the least about half of 
what was collected throughout the country was paid to officials, 
and the remainder was also subject to robbery. In 1704, 
therefore, an Act of Parliament was passed [4 Anne ch. 14], 
which stated that " many inconveniences arose and frauds were 
committed in the common method of collecting charity money 
upon briefs," and regulated their use with the purpose of 
preventing them from becoming financial speculations, and of 
making them honestly efficient for the purpose intended. Still 
the abuses grew up again, and at last, in 1834, the Act of 
Queen Anne was repealed by a new Act [9 Geo. IV. ch. 28], 
which reserved to the Crown the power of granting Briefs 
for Incorporated Church Societies alone. When Lord Palmer- 
ston was Prime Minister he declined to advise the Crown to 
issue any Briefs or Queen's letters even to these Societies, 
and thus they have now fallen into disuse. 


Very frequent entries occur in the Church accounts of 
Dursley during the seventeenth century, of money being 
given by the Churchwardens out of the Church Hate for the 
relief of poor travellers, wounded soldiers and sailors, and 
especially of many Irish people. 

The earliest of such payments of any amount is in 1588 
when there is " Item, pd to the poore for xiiij weekes 
xvj s iiijd." In general separate entries are made for such 
payments, as in 1592, a poor man 2s. 6d. ; in 1603, A Captain 
maimed in Ireland 2s. 6d. ; in 1615, To a man of Uppom 
which came with license, 6d. ; in 1617, to a poor man with 
Letters Patent that is a Brief 2s. 6d. ; in 1621, to a man 
and his wife travelling out of Ireland unto York, 6d. ; in 
1622, unto one that came with the broad seal, 6d. ; in 1624, 
to a traveller that came with a brief, Is.; to a poor woman 
that her husband was taken prisoner by the Turk, 6d. ; to 3 
poor people that came with a pass, 6d. In 1630, there are 


as many as fifteen such entries, five being of Soldiers, two 
of " a Minister" a not unfrequent subject of this charitable 
relief, and several of Irish men and women. In following 
years many similar ones appear, but only one " Scottish man " 
is on record as receiving charity : he, however, receiving two 
shillings, which was considerably more than the usual sum, 
a fact that will be interpreted by the reader's ideas as to 
the canny people of the North. In 1673 " Maimed soldiers 
and seamen in their distress " received as much as 7. 6s. 10d., 
and in 1678, 2. 18s. 10/1. These were probably wounded 
men who had served under the Duke of Monmouth in the 
battles fought between the armies of Louis XIV. and the 
Prince of Orange ; and Chelsea Hospital was not ready for 
soldiers until 1690, nor Greenwich Hospital for sailors until 

But the County authorities found it necessary to bring down 
the hand of the law with weighty severity upon " travellers " 
of this kind in the year 1678, and four closely-written pages 
of the folio Register are occupied with the copy of an order 
made on the subject in a General Quarter Session. This 
begins by reciting how " the Grand Inquest hath informed 
this Court the dayly concourse and great increase off Rouges, 
Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggars, is a greate Grievance and 
annoyance to the inhabitants of this County, and through the 
negligence or ignorance of those officers who have been in- 
trusted in this Concerne they are now grown soe insolent and 
presumptious that they have oft by threates and menaces 
extorted money and victualls from those who live in houses 
ffar remote ffrom neighbours .... And have putt the people 
in A general Consternation or ffeare that they will filer their 
house or steale theyr goodes, .... Whereffore this Courte 
.... doe order and commande all Chiefe Constables, petty 
Constables, Headboroughs, Tythenmen, and all other officers 
herein concerned that they doe fforthwith cause all the lawes 


and Statutes heretofore mad against Rouges, Vagabonds, and 
Sturdy Beggars, wandering and idle persons, to be putt in 
execution, and to that end itt is here ordered." Then follow 
a series of orders compiled from Acts passed in the reigns of 
Elizabeth, James, and Charles I. The Officers were to search 
every suspected place for beggars during the night once a 
week or oftener ; and also to apprehend " all such Rouges 
&c. who trauell with fforged and counterfeited passes in the 
day time : " and when they have duly apprehended them by 
night or day " the Constable, Headborough, or Thythenman, 
being assisted with the minister [!!] and some other of the 
p'ish shall cause them to be stripped naked ffrom their middle 
upward, and to be openly whipped untill theyr Bodyes be 
Bloody." Then the minister, or high constable, was to add to 
this work of charity a certificate that the man had been duly 
whipped, and direct him to pass by the nearest road to his 
native parish within ten days. The other orders provide for 
carrying out this principal one, and for the fine or other 
punishment of those who obstruct the officers in their duty. 
But there are some humane provisions for the assistance of 
soldiers and mariners lawfully passing on their way home 
which offer a happy contrast to the severity of those made 
for the benefit of " sturdy beggars." 

It may be naturally supposed that this stringent execution 
of the laws in force diminished the number of those who 
came to the Churchwardens of Dursley for relief, and cer- 
tainly there are very few entries of relief in following years 
compared with those of preceding ones. They occasionally 
make their appearance, however, until at last the Parish took 
the matter into its own hands as is shewn by the following 
entry. " Sept. 24. 1738. It is agreed at a publick Yestry 
that no Churchwarden or Overseer shall be allowed to give 
anything to Travellers on ye Parish Account. Saml- Clarke, 
Thomas Gethen, Churchwardens ; Jno Phelps, Jno Purnell, 
Sam. Wallington." 


Probably this order did not interfere with such domestic 
charity as is indicated by the items " Paid Dr. Berks for 
setting Edward Curtaise's child's bone, Is Od" and " Pd 
Mary May for Powltissinge of Gilles Davis his legg." Nor 
did this Parochial sternness prevent the Churchwardens who 
paid the ringers eleven shillings for celebrating the proclama- 
tion of peace in 1749 from adding afterwards " pd for drink 
the same day 2. 10. 0." 


In the neighbouring parish of Cam vigorous efforts were 
made by the Churchwardens to exterminate their fellow 
parishioners the sparrows. Those of Dursley waged war 
chiefly against foxes, pole cats, and hedge hogs : and their 
Register contains the following curious record of old legis- 
lation on the subject, which appears to have been written 
about the end of the sixteenth century : 

" According to a statute made the 8 yeare of Quene 
Elizabeth chap 15 and continued 13 of Elizabeth chapter the 
25 : and after 14 Elizabeth chap 1 1 there ought to be chosen 
yearely on ester monday or tuesday by the Churchwardens 
and six other persons to be Required by the Churchwardens 
of the same parish to tax and assesse every farmer propriator 
and euery person and every other person haiueing the possess- 
ion of any land or tythes to pay such soms of money as they 
shall thinke meete acording to the proportion of their lands 
or tythes and upon denyall or in default of payment shall 
forfeit 5s to be leuied by distress and sale of the offenders 
goods and the sums of money soo taxed and leuied to be 

delliuered to honest substantiall men of every 

parish which shall be elected and apoynted by the Church- 
wardens to hand the yearely distribution thereof and these 
persons soe nominated and apoynted shall be called the 
distributors of the provision for the destruction of noysom 
foule and vermine and the said distributors shall giue and pay 


the same money soc to them delliuered to each person or 

persons that shall bring to them the heads of such 

shall give account to the Churchwardens." 

In handwriting of the same date there is also a tariff of 
the prices to be paid for the " noysom foule and vermine " 
which should be destroyed under the provisions of this 
statute ; and the presence of wild cats, pole cats, and cormo- 
rants, shews that the neighbouring woods were not very 
different in Queen Elizabeth's reign from what they were in 
that of Henry III., when that king licensed " William 
Berkeley of Dursley for term of life to hunt the fox, wolf, 
hare, wild-cat, and badger," there. 

" The heads of ould crowes choughs pyes or Rokes taken 
within the limits of the parish, for the heads of every three 
of them one penny. 

and for the heads of six of them young, or for six of their 
eggs unbroken taken as aforesaid one peny 
for 1 2 stares l heads one peny 

for the head of a hawke. merton. 2 buzard. king tayle. mold 
kite : seag. cormorant, two pence, 
for every two eggs of them a peney 
for the head of every Joy rauen kyte wood owle 1*? 
for a bull finch or kings fisher one peney 
for a fox or Gray 3 one shilling 

for a falchen : polecatt weasell slow faire badger [?] or wild 
catt a peney for a otter or hedghog 2* 

for 3: Ratts or 12: mice If for euery. want 4 one halfpeny." 

In the accounts for 1579 entry is made of a payment " to 
ffrenshe for a foxe's heade xijd," but there is no further 
mention of such payments until 1622. After that date there 
are frequent entries such as "pd. for hedghoggs 3s. 2d," 
"hedgocks 2s. 6d.," "Joyes, viijd" "jaye's heads, 2s. 6d," 
"pd for birds and other varments 0. 4. 7.," 48 dozen of 

1 Starlings. a Marten. 3 Badger. 4 Mole. 


Sparrows at a penny a dozen, "Paid" in 1690 " for foxes, 
grays, and other varmant herds, 1. 4. 9 J " "pi for birdes 
and vermintes, 1. 6. 10.," " Pi for varments of all sorts to 
severall people, 2. 11. 3." In 1702 sixteen foxes "by 
order" cost the parish as many shillings ; in 1704 there is a 
charge of eight pence for two pole cats, and of twenty-four 
shillings for as many foxes In 1705 the sum of 5s 4d was 
paid for 72 jays, 2s for woodpeckers, and 3s 4d for 230 torn 
tits. But the highest charge 6f all was in 1708, when as 
much as 5. 1. 3. appears under this head, including thirty 
shillings for thirty foxes brought in under "justice's 
warrant." A regular "sparrow-catcher" was appointed in 
1658 to whom was paid yearly the not extravagant stipend 
of four shillings ; yet promiscuous warfare was still carried 
on against hedgehogs, joyes, titmice, and foxes, especially 
the last. But the revival of fox-hunting probably brought 
the war to a close, the following entry being nearly the last 
on the subject. " March 4th 1722 at a Publick Meeting of 
ye Parish it's this day ordered that no Church warden for the 
time to come shall be allowed to pay for Foxes or any other 
Yermin without a Lawfull order from a Justice of the 
Peace," .The "Signatories" to this treaty of justice and 
peace with the unsportsman-like-persecuted foxes are Thos. 
Purnell, Isaac Smyth, Tho. Phelps, John Partridge, Henry 
Adey, John Tippetts, Jacob Stiff, Joseph Phelps, Nich. 
Neale, and Maurice Phillips. 

Some miscellaneous entries. 

HOGGLING MOXEY. The Churchwardens regularly received 
a small sum yearly towards the expenses of the Church under 
the name of " Hoggling Money." The entry occurs in 18 
years out of the 47 years following and including 1579, the 
smallest sum being 5s. lid., the largest l. 6. 0. In 
162] the entry is " when wee went a boggling," 1. 3 7.: 


in 1622 "in going a hoglen" 16. 3.: and in 1626 "for 
hogling" 19. 5. 1 In several years there are entries of 
sums " receaved upon newe yeares day " or on " New year's 
eve," the sums heing of similar amounts to the hoggling 
money and the latter being never entered in the same year. 
" Hogling " is a well known term for a lamb, as " Hog " is 
for a young sheep : and as New Tear's Day was the twenty- 
fifth of March in the sixteenth and seventeenth century it is not 
altogether unlikely that Hoggling money was a tax upon the 
early lambs, those which had made their appearance before the 
Bailiff inauguration into his office, which was on New Year's 
Day. On the other hand the ancient New Year's Eve custom 
of " mumming," which is still known in the north by the 
name of " Hogmany," may once have been an official business 
gravely supervised by the Churchwardens. There were also 
two " Hoke-days," on the first of which the men placed 
ropes across the street and taxed all the passers by, the 
women doing the same on the second day. At Hock-tide, as 
at Christmas, plays were performed : and the two days seem 
to have been the Monday and Tuesday after Low Sunday. 

This is the sort of thing they used to sing as their 
" Hagmena Song " in Yorkshire : 

" To-night it is the New Year's night, to-morrow is the day, 
And we are come for our right and for our ray, 
As we used to do in old King Henry's Day : 
Sing fellows, sing hag-man, ha ! 

1 But the same entry is found in the Churchwardens' accounts of 
Cheddar in Somersetshire ; and the amount received there in 1631 was 
10. 3. 4. [JV. $ Q. Ill, iij. 423.] Another name for it appears to 
have been " Hoghall Money." Thus in N. $ Q. VI. ij. 275, the 
following is printed as having been found " on the margin of an old 
folio ; " " Mrs. Wright indebted to Eichard Basset for keeping a 
mare four weeks for work, 5s 6d., by the Hoghall money, Is 6d. 


If you go to the bacon-flick cut me a good bit 
Cut, cut it low, beware of your maw. 
Cut, cut it round, beware of your thumb, 
That me and my merry men may have some. 
Sing fellows, sing hag-man, ha ! 

If you go to the black ark, bring me ten marks, 
Ten marks ten pound, throw it down upon the ground, 
That me and my merry men may have some. 
Sing fellows, sing hag-man, ha ! " 1 

Whether the Churchwardens of Dursley went about the 
town singing such songs as part of their Ecclesiastical duties 
when they " went a hoggling " is not on record. 


unfrequently noticed in the Churchwardens' accounts. Thus 
in 1702 the Churchwardens add to their accounts, "Hecev'd 
more P the Justices' Order for Swearing, and selling Beere 
on the Sabath Day, and Drunkennes of those under 

s d 

John Morgan for Swearing . . 06 = 00 
Tho Clift for Selling Beare . . 10 = 00 
Edwf Jobbins for Ditto . . . . 10 = 00 
Dan" Wyman being Drunk . . 05 = 00 
Tho Archard for Sweareing . . 01 = 00 
Edwf Jobbins for Ditto . . . . 01 = 00 
Jonathan Dallimore Ditto . . . . 01 = 00 

Tho Heath Ditto 01 = 00 

Jn<? Vizard Ditto 01 = 00 

Robert Hancok Ditto . 01 = 00 

02 : 06 : 00 

1 Brand's Popular Antiquities, j. 461. Sohn's ed. 

E 2 


This money was distributed among 27 persons, and in the 
list appear Tho Cliffs Child . . 05 = 00," " Edw Jobbins's 
Apprentice . . 05 = 00," " Tho Heath . . 01 = 00," "Dan 1 ! 
"Wiman's Children . . 04 = 00 : " from which it is evident 
that the fines were not allowed to bear very heavily upon the 
culprits. But the most conspicuous year was 1 757, and the 
most conspicuous offender Thomas Roe. Three times in that 
year a Justice of the Peace paid over the cost which Roe had 
to pay for his profane luxury of swearing. On June 10th 
he was fined twelve shillings, on June 1 8th two pounds, and 
on August 8th thirty shillings. There are long lists of the 
names of the poor people among whom these fines were divided, 
the 82 shillings being distributed among 120 people. The 
integrity of the last distribution is here also rather blown upon 
by the entry of Thomas Roe himself as the receiver from the 
Churchwardens of fifteen shillings out of the thirty which he 
had been obliged to pay to the magistrate ! 

BOYS. The Dursley boys of the seventeenth century were 
not so perfect in their behaviour at Divine Service that they 
could be judiciously left to themselves. So in 1657 the 
Churchwardens paid to " John Stockwell Master Corrector of 
the boyes" six shillings: in 1658 "To "Walter Jenkins for 
keeping the boyes" two shillings and sixpence : and in 1694 
"To John Mills for beateinge ye boyes" three shillings. 
Let us hope that what an old woman once called this " cate- 
chizing " may have been serviceable to the boys in after 

Elizabethan Churchmanship in Dursley. 

The Churchwardens' Register begins, unfortunately, just 
thirty years too late to give us any information respecting the 
progress of the Reformation in the Church during the reigns 
of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queen Maiy, its earliest 
entries being made in 1566, when Queen Elizabeth had been 


seated on the throne for about eight years. But it is probable 
that the purchase and use of the Register indicate the begin- 
ning of a new order of things, it having taken some year* 
entirely to displace that which had been brought about by 
the re-action of Queen Mary's reign, and to introduce that 
which was established by law not earlier than the third year 
of Queen Elizabeth's reign. 

Of this we find indications in the first pages of the Church- 
wardens' accounts, where there are payments entered for 
work done in the Church which must have been of an im- 
portant and extensive character. 

It is curious to see that the very first entry of a pay- 
ment is " To a man of Sadburie for xiij Sacks of Lyme 
to whyt lyme the Church iiijs viijd. " In the same year 
12 more sacks were procured from "the Lyme brener of" 
Sadburie " " at xiijd a sack." The cheapness of lime accounts 
perhaps for the profuseness with which it was used on the 
interior of our Churches in those times : but it must also be 
remembered that the walls thus whitewashed had almost 
invariably been covered with colour decoration and paintings, 
and that the whitewash was laid on thickly to obliterate 
these. In the same way the entries for " glassing " and the 
" plomer " and lead, are often of so large an amount that 
they can only be explained on the ground that the painted 
glass windows had been smashed to pieces and white glass ones 
substituted. Taste for art, and especially for Christian art, 
was at the lowest possible ebb during the Reformation period. 
In books and pictures of the time we may see coarse nude 
figures of heathen deities, satyrs, &c., which were supposed 
to be characteristic of the revival of pagan learning, and to 
be far more beautiful than the finely painted Scripture 
subjects, or the gorgeously robed angels and saints, with 
which books had formerly been adorned. This decline of" 
taste was also accompanied by an outcry of the Puritans- 


against paintings on the walls and in the windows of Churches 
as superstitious: and although the outcry was often much 
more superstitious than the condemned paintings, it set on 
the uneducated classes to destroy those works of art which 
the educated classes despised too much to take the trouble of 

Hence, no doubt, the twenty-five sacks of lime which the 
Churchwardens of Dursley used in 1566 were for covering up 
the painting of the Last Judgement over the Chancel Arch, 
of our Lord in Divine Majesty over the East Window, of 
St. Christopher, the type of Christ-bearers, on the North- 
wall of the Nave, and of many a Scripture subject elsewhere 
throughout the Church. But perhaps this was a kind of work 
which was more acceptable to the Churchwardens than to 
the parishioners at large. For when Thomas Thacham comes 
to make up the accounts he makes the following note : 

" Summa totalis xijli xs jd ob. 
Of this we receavid xjli 

so that we haue laid out more of oure own charge xxxs jd ob 
whereof do acquytt the p'ishe by these p'sents. 
Give god the glorye." 

But this is still more conspicuous in the case of alterations 
which Thacham made in the Chancel. For there are two 
pages of accounts " ffor the Sieges about the Comm'on Table." 
These were seats or pews around the east, north, and south 
walls of the Chancel, such as are still to be seen in the Chancel 
of Deerhurst Church near Tewkesbury. On these workmen 
were employed by Thacham for nine weeks during November, 
December, and January, in 1566 and 1567, and from the 
accounts of their wages it appears that they were sawyers, 
joiners, and carvers, engaged on "frames," "panels," "wains- 
cotting," and " ledges ; " a small amount of wages being set 
down also for masons who repaired the " wall by the 


Chappell" and the pavement. 1 The cost of these works 
was 9. 6s. ll^d. an amount which represented, perhaps, 
100 of our own money. To defray this a subscription was 
collected from the parishioners, but their sparing contributions 
amounted only to 2. 11s. 0d., only one-fourth of the sum 
expended. Hence the zealous Churchwarden makes another 
entry in which he says, 

" So that I have laid owt of my own charge more than I 
rec. as by iust Accompts it doth appear vjli xvs xjd. ob. only 
for the Sieges besyde the Church Accompts in the former 

The next piece of historical evidence furnished by the 
Churchwardens is their Inventory of the Church goods, the 
first of many that appear during the next hundred years. It 
is as follows : 

" The Inventorie of all the Church goods ; and other 
thynges belonging to the p'ishe. [A.D. 1566.] 
In pmis A Cupp for the Communion, doble gylt with A Case 
for the same. 2 Itm. j Table clothe of lynnen for the Com- 
wunion Table of holland in length iij yards and di wth an 
A & F at one end and T & C. at the other end marked wth 
blewe thrydd. 3 It. ij bybles : It. the paraphrase of Erasmus 
upon the Epistles. It. A Book of Commune prayer of the ordere 

1 It is interesting to see the wages and prices paid in this year. 
Joiners . . lOd a day Laths . . 4d a bundle 

Sawyers . . 9| 850 Nails 2s. 6d. 

Carvers .. lOd Lead .. 14s 4d a cwt. 

Tilers .. lOd Candles.. 3d a pound. 

There is a frequent payment also for "mosse" at a penny a sack. 
This may have been dried ferns for strewing on the floor instead of 
rushes. Ferns abound near Dursley, but rushes are scarce. 

2 A Cover was provided for "the Communion Cupp " in 1583 at a 
cost of 22s. 

3 The length of these and of the Linen Cloths in the ' Store 
House," shews that the Altar was at least 6 feet long by 3 feet high. 


of the church of England. It. A nother book containing the 

same ordere of commune p'yer : and the psalmes as they are 

appointed to be read : l with the psalmes in metre appointed 

to be song / and the first book of homelies appointed to be 

read in the church : and all these iiij cowtayned in one volume 

It. A psalter book. It. the Iniunctions sett foorthe by the 

Queenes maiestie Elizabeth our Sovreign Lady the first year 

of her grace's reign. Ao 1559. 

It. A Regester book of ij quiers of paper : for the order of 

baptismes, marieing, and burieing. 2 

It A book of prayer against the the Invasion of the Turk. 

It. A book of the form of Prayer to be sayd twise A week, 

wth an homilie of gods Justice annexed thereto. 

It. A paper book of a Quier ffor the Accompte of the proctors 

for the poore. 3 

It. the Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the 4 Gospels, xs- 

It. A book of ij Tomes of homelies wth the commun p'yer in 

one. viijs. 

It. there is belonging to the Church an Acre of Arable land 

It. A faire house callid the Church house. It. A Almes 

house, wth 

It. the Churchyard. 

It. in the Church A Gofer for the books : It. A Cheast with 
iij Locks and iij Keayes. 

It. in the Storehouse 4 A Gofer for the pewter. It. another 
cheast bound wth yron : having iij locks and iij Keayes. 

1 In early Prayer Books the Psalter was printed with a separate 
Title page, and from these two entries it appears that it was not 
always bound up in the same volume with the Prayer Book. 

2 This Register Book is not now among the Church goods. 

3 Overseers for the poor were first appointed thirty-five years later, 
under the first Poor Law, 43 Eliz. ch. 2. A.D. 1601. 

4 It seems as if this was the Vestry. 


It. ij Table cloathes. j of iiij and iij qvarters and the other 

of iiij yards and A qvarter. It. ij shortt cloathes of ij yards 

and a qter a peece. 

Itm. in the Church house : A Crock of brasse weying 

It. A sqvare kettle of Coper weying 

It. j paire of potthooks weying 

It. ij hangings weying ["to hange pottes in " 1591] 

It. ij brothes [?] weying 

It. j payre of Beaths [?"] weying 

It. an yron barre in the halle chimney 

It. A bucket wth ij yron hoopes. It. A lade payle and A 


It. iiij vates cowtayning : 

It. xiij stondes cowtayning : 

It. xix Trendies cowtayning : 

It. xj platters, vj potingers. iiij aaltt cellers and vj spoons." 

One item in the preceding Inventory is worth further 
notice, namely, the " book of the Form of prayer to be said 
twice a week " &c. This was " A Form to be used in 
Common Prayer twice a week, and also an order of public 
fast to be used every Wednesday in the week during the time 
of mortality and other afflictions wherewith the Realm at the 
present is visited. Set forth by the Queen's Majesty's special 
commandment, expressed in her letters hereafter following in 
the next page, xxx July 1563." Archbishop Parker, writing 
to Cecil, describes the country as " molested universallie by 
warre, and particularlie at London by pestilence, and partlie 
here at Canterburie by famyn." There was in fact a terrible 
outbreak of the plague in 1563, which destroyed 20,000 
people, about a fifth of the number who died in that of 1665. 

The Form of Prayer has a Preface directing the " Curates 
and Pastors to exhort their Parishioners to endeavour them- 
selves to come unto the Church .... not only on Sundays 
and holy days but also on Wednesdays and Fridays. It then 


appoints that Morning Prayer shall be said, with Special 
Lessons. After that a pause of a quarter of an hour and 
more is to be made, during which the people are exhorted to 
give themselves to their private prayers and meditations. 
Then the Litany is to be read in the midst of the People, 
with the addition of a penitental psalm made up from various 
parts of Holy Scripture and a very long Confession of sins. 
On "Wednesdays the Holy Communion was to be celebrated. 
Then, both on Wednesdays and Fridays, followed a long 
" Homily concerning the Justice of God " which had been 
written for the occasion by Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. 

Such a Form of Prayer indicates that in Queen Elizabeth's 
reign people went to Church very generally on week days, at 
least when such special occasions for Prayer arose ; that the 
celebration of the Holy Communion was the central part of 
such special national supplications; that habits of silent 
meditation and prayer in Church were encouraged and 
enjoined ; and that very long services were the custom of the 
times It may also be added that on these days the Puritans 
fasted until two or three o'clock in the afternoon, the ordi- 
nary dinner hour being eleven or twelve. 

Another point that may be noticed in this Inventory is 
that it contains no notice of Church vestments of any kind, 
although subsequent ones always, till the time of the 
Commonwealth, include the Surplice. But in 1574 there 
are entries that the Churchwardens " pd for a surplus cloathe 
ixs vjd, " and also that they " pd for ye makinge of ye same 
ijs iiijd. " In 1578 it is entered in the Inventory in com- 
pany with the " porringers and saltcellars " of the Church 
House, from which it would appear to have been disused in 
the Church. 

The Puritans in Dursley Church. 

Puritan influences were evidently now gaining ground in 
Dursley. The Church seems to have been first pewed about 


1579, when payments for seats began to be received by the 
Churchwardens. The first entry of this kind is " It. of 
Alexander Byrton for a seate place wth Edmond Wettmothe 
in ye seate belonginge to ye lowr Inn xijd " About twenty 
more such entries immediately follow, most of them adding 
to the person's name " for a place for his wiffe ; " and in later 
times there are a great number of them. In 1591 "A carpet 
for the commn table," " a holland cloth for the same," " three 
books of Comon Prayar," and " one of Epistles and Gospels " 
seem to point out that there had been some strange neglect 
connected with the necessary furniture of the Church, al- 
though indeed there are entries of "It, for a byble of 
ye Largeste volume, xxxs" in 1579 (the old one being sold 
for five shillings), and of " pd for A communion booke iiijs" 
in 1583. When we find Samuel Hallowes as Minister, with 
"William Trotman and Richard Merick as Churchwardens 
witnessing that on September 26th, 1618, there was "An 
new table horde geuen to the church by Margerie Morse 
Widowe, alias called Mrs. Fullie," it seems almost certain 
that a novel " table horde " of Puritan fashion was substi- 
tuted for the old Altar table for which the long linen cloths 
of fifty years earlier date had been provided. 

It was the Puritan custom to place their " table hordes," 
which were often literally " boards " placed on trestles, in the 
body of the Church that the Communicants might sit around 
them as round a " horde" of Christian hospitality and fellow- 
ship, instead of placing them at the East end and kneeling in 
front of them as before the Table of the Lord. To break up 
this custom Archbishop Laud and his " High Church " coad- 
jutors enjoined that the table should be uniformly placed at 
the East end of the Chancel, and rails set up in front of it 
which would prevent its removal into the body of the Church 
and would offer a support for kneeling Communicants. This 
was done in Dursley Church in the year 1636, and the Church- 


wardens enter in their accounts " It. paid for 2 posts and 
settings up the Eayle at the Communion Table," 3. 6. 0. 
and It. for a payre of Jemells " [hinges] " for the Raile 
Doore that goethe before the Communion Table " 1. 0. 8. 

At the same time " the way into the pulpitte " was turned 
at a cost of ten shillings, a pulpett door was provided for two 
shillings and sixpence, and an iron to hold the hour glass for 
four shillings. These entries may shew that while there was 
a party in the parish which supported the principles of the 
Reformation in the High Church sense which looked towards 
the altar as the centre of Divine worship, there was also a 
Puritan party which set great store hy preaching, and loved 
those preachers best who after an hour's discourse would say 
" let us have another glass " and turn the full side of their 
time keeper upwards to run out its sands again as they 
themselves ran out their yard long periods. 

The full flow of the tide of Puritanism is indicated in the 
Churchwardens' Register by the disappearance from the 
Inventories in 1643 and the following years of the Surplice, 
the Book of Common Prayer, and the double gilt Communion 
Cup, with its cover and case. Instead of the Prayer Book 
there then appears the Scottish Presbyterian " Directory for 
Public Worship ; " instead of the silver gilt chalice appear 
two pewter platters, one pewter salver, and two pewter 
" Comunion boules," which cost 3s. 4d., the " scouring of the 
pewter " becoming also a regular item in the accounts. 1 Two 

1 The double gilt silver chalice was stolen by the " pure " supplanters 
of the Church and its customs. The pewter substitute was used till 
1687, when it was sold for seven shillings and Plate bought for 
2. 18. 0. A hundred years after the Pewter Age there appears the 
following entry in the Churchwardens' Register. " 1748. January 
the 10. Given by Mr. N. Neale a Silver Patin for Bread and a 
Silver Cupp for Sacrament Wine for the Use of the Church of Dursley 
in the County of Gloucester. 

( George Faithorn 
Churchwardens Tippette .. 


and sixpence was also paid in 1 648 " to James Attwood for 
settinge upp a thinge to houlde a bassone," and one shilling 
on " a screw for the fonte," which looks as if the latter was- 
screwed up to prevent it from being used for baptisms and the 
former substituted. As much as 11. 5. 8. was paid for 
" glassing the Church windows," to replace with plain the 
stained glass which had survived : the Communion rails lately 
set up were now destroyed, and the altar again turned into a 
" table board " in the nave. 

What treatment the Clergy received may be judged of by 
the treatment of the learned, and not High Church, Arch- 
deacon Robinson the then Rector of Dursley, who was 
" seized at his living of Dursley, set on horseback with his 
face to the horse's tail, and thence hurried away to Gloucester 
prison." l 

So Dursley took its part in the great Puritan revolution 
which seemed for a time as if it had exterminated the ancient 
Church of the land. In this retired valley among the 
Cotswolds as well as elsewhere the use of the Prayer Book 
was prohibited from 1645 until 1660 under pain of 5 fine 
for the first offence, 10 for the second, and for the third a 
year's imprisonment : the Clergy were turned out of the 
Churches, driven from house and home and deprived of their 
incomes. Some were sent to prison like the Rector of 
Dursley, some transported to the "West Indies, and most of 
them left in great poverty, as it is not easy for an elderly 
clergyman to earn his bread in any other profession than that 
which he has been brought up to and engaged in all his life. 
Thus the face of all things parochial was altered for fifteen 
years. Instead of their old Rectors and Curates the Dursley 
people had to receive as a pseudo pastor, some ignorant 
layman (for educated laymen were above such work) who 
dubbed himself a minister and got into the old clerical nest 

1 Walker's Suff. of Clergy, ij. 33. 


by the help of the few leading Puritans of the neighbour- 
hood : and who dealt out to them in Church one long winded 
homily as a prayer and another as a sermon, each being 
chiefly conspicuous for bad taste, red hot politics, and male- 
dictory theology, 

Then the tide again turned. English people had hardly 
tasted the true flavour of unadulterated Puritanism before 
they found out that it was not at all to their liking ; and 
although they could not get rid of it while Cromwell ruled 
the land with his Ironsides, the Church bells rang out merrily 
for its expulsion almost as soon as he was gone, and parochial 
life flowed back again into its old channels. In 1661 the 
Churchwardens record that they paid 6. 0. 0. " for the 
Kings Armes," 1 a shilling " for sending a letter to ye Arch- 
deacon, five shillings " to ye Ringers at ye Coronation day ; " 
and early in the following year fourteen pence " to the paritor 
for bringing of a booke set foorth by the King and his 
Counsell to be read on the 30 Day of Janu : by the minister." 
Then " a new Common Prayer Book " appears in the In- 
ventory, for which the parish paid seven and sixpence, and 
" the booke of ye Directory " in a previous Inventory is 
crossed through with an indignant dash of the Church- 
warden's pen, he having evidently had enough of it. 2 A little 
later there is an entry of payment for " 9 ells holand at 5s. 
to make the Surples, 2. 5. 0." and for making it ten 
shillings more. Then a cover for the font is provided shewing 
that it was again brought into use. A few years afterwards, 
in 1684, rails were again set up before the Lord's Table at a 

1 Such was the penitent loyalty of the parish that in 1665 4. 10. 0. 
was again paid "for painten the Church Dyall and florishing the 
Kings Armes " and in 1733 5. 10. 0, again for the Kings Arms. 

* Those who wrote or spoke against the Directory during the time 
of the Commonwealth were liable to a fine of from 5 to 50, at the 
discretion of the magistrates. 


cost of 4. 13. 4., and in 1687, there was an expenditure 
of 2. 18. 0. upon "pleat for the communion," seven 
shillings being " Reed for the ould peuter for the com- 
munion " which had been bought in the place of the " double 
gilt communion Cupp " of Queen's Elizabeth's time. 

Nor was it with a grudging mind that Dursley people 
received Episcopacy back again, for in 1663 when the Bishop 
came on his Visitation the parishioners " Paid for Sack for my 
Lord that we presented to him " Six shillings and two pence : 
which being the price of four quarts at that time, it is to be 
hoped that his Lordship passed round the hospitable tankard 
to his Chancellor and Archdeacon. 

The changes which were brought about by our next Revolu- 
tion happily our last in 1688 are slightly but significantly 
recorded in these financial annals of Ecclesiastical Dursley. 
In that year the Churchwardens " pd to Paritor for two books 
of thanksgiving for the Prince of Wales," one shilling and 
sixpence. Shortly afterwards a shilling is paid to the same 
person for King James the Second's " Declaration for Liberty 
of Conscience," which so many of the Clergy refused to read 
out in their Churches because it was considered as nothing 
but a declaration for the Liberty of Popery. Then a shilling 
was paid for " a proclamation to pray for the Prince of 
Wales" afterwards known as the Old Pretender. This is 
followed by the payment of sixpence for " a proclamation to 
pray for the Prince of Orange " and a shilling for " a Common 
prayer book to pray for the prince," but which prince is not 
stated. The ebbing and flowing of the tide is, however, 
clearly shewn in the next entries, of which the first is a 
shilling " for a prayer booke against invasion," the second, 
another shilling " for a Booke for thankes Given for the 
prince of orang " the invader, and the third of a third shilling 
" for a booke to Alter the prayers for King William." The 
times were full of change, opinions were strong on both sides, 


and doubtless in Dursley as elsewhere you might hear the 
bells ling out one day " God bless King James the Second," 
and the next day " God bless King "William the Third." 
Happy that long generation which has been able to ring out a 
constant and happy peal of " God bless good Queen Victoria," 
without one serious thought of revolution either in Church 
or State. 

The Fall and Rebuilding of the Steeple. 

"When Defoe wrote his Tour through Great Britain in the 
latter half of the seventeenth century he recorded that the 
Church of Dursley had " two ailes and an handsome spire." 
In the second edition of Sir Robert Atkyns' History of 
Gloucestershire, published about 1712, it is also stated that 
Dursley " had an handsome Spire at the West End, but now 
fallen down." A century earlier the Churchwardens' accounts 
contain charges, in 1570, "It. for lyme to ye use of ye toure 
and steple vijs vjd.," and " It. for pointing the steple vli- " 
The latter item is repeated in 1656, and is indeed one that 
frequently occurs. 

In the year 1688 there seems to have been some appre- 
hension that the tower was unsafe, for there is an item in the 
accounts, " Pd Edward Wicks for his Advise about ye tower 
2s 6d.," and the result of the advice seems to have been 
some trumpery contrivance for propping up the tower inside 
as is shewn pretty clearly by the entry immediately following, 
" Pd to Jonathan Danford for A peece of timber, and drawing 
it up into the tower loft 1. 10 0." This temporizing with 
danger gave a sense of security and in 1694 the old entry 
comes again " Paid Richard Lathern for pointing the Tower 
and Steeple 10. 10. 0." 

In 1699 some extensive repairs were being carried on upon 
the roof. Old lead weighing 46 cwt. 2 q. 24 Ibs. was sold at 
a penny a pound, bringing in 21. 16. 0., and new lead was 


bought of James Brown the plumber, weighing 52 cwt., and 
costing 37. 17. 0. ; nine loads of tiles at 4. 10. 0. being 
also bought. If it was a wooden spire the lead was probably 
used for re-covering it, and wooden spires were very common 
in those times : but the " pointing " of the " steple " and the 
mention of " ye toure and steple " seem to shew that it was of 
stone. However that may have been, it was in the same 
year in which these repairs of the roof were effected that the 
tower and spire were destroyed, the day of their fall being 
January 7th, 1698-9. 

Bigland, writing in 1791, says that the Spire fell while 
the bells were ringing, and that several persons lost their 
lives by the accident. As January 7th was not a Sunday in 
that year, and is not a ringing day ordinarily, it is probable 
that the bells were being rung to celebrate the completion of 
the repairs. Whether it was so or not, the entries respecting 
the repairs are just followed by one recording the purchase 
of a new Prayer Book when there succeeds the melancholy 
record " Pd for pulling down the Ruins of the tower to the 
Church, 3. 1. 0." 

Such calamities take place so suddenly that it is no wonder 
the details of them escape observation and record. A mag- 
nificent spire, probably twice as large and high as that of 
Dursley, fell down at St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, on July 9th, 
1788, and only one person, walking in the meadows at some 
distance, saw the dreadful occurrence. They who crowded 
to the Churchyard beheld only a confused heap of ruins, the 
tall spire having fallen on the roof of the nave, and mingled 
in one hopeless wreck the stones, the timbers, the bells, the 
organ, and the monuments, of what had a few minutes 
before been one of our most glorious Collegiate Churches. 
The wreck at Dursley was not so bad, for the spire seems to 
have fallen outwards and not towards the nave ; and thus 
although the tower tore down a portion of the west end of 


the Church in its fall the ruin was kept within bounds and 
left the mediaeval fabric of the nave substantially uninjured. 

The cost of rebuilding the tower and spire seems to have 
been at once considered as far beyond the means of the town, 
although at this time it must have been a prosperous manu- 
facturing place, with several wealthy cloth-making families 
as well as the landholders. The loss was estimated at 
2,000, though only about 500 was expended in repairing 
it, but in recent times the sum of nearly 6,000 has been 
collected, much of it from the inhabitants of Dursley, for 
the restoration of the same Church to which this calamity 
had happened. But in 1699 it was at once determined to 
obtain a Brief, so that the expense of rebuilding the fallen 
tower and spire might fall on strangers and not on the 

The consultations that were held over this matter cost the 
parishioners, however, a good deal of money. It was 
evidently dry work, as if the dust of the ruins had got into 
the throats of the Vestrymen, and the Church Rate was 
saddled with the items " Pd at the Session when mr Georg : 
Smijth and mr Elliott and the Churchwardens delivered at 
the Sessions the Loos by the fall of the tower and Steple 
6. 12. 2. Pd the workmen that went to the Sessions 
that vallued the Loos 1. 4. 0. Pd at Nibley for beere when 
the p'ish went to m r George Smith for Advise. Pd to John 
Mills for beere when the p'ish there mett severall times and 
for beere for the Laborers 6. 17. 8. Pd at the Bell Inn in 
Dursley when mr George Smijth went to Sessions 7s. Od. 
John Mills for Drinke at the p'ish meeting and to workmen 
2. 0. 11." This liberal expenditure of 17. 1. 9. on beer 
resulted in the presentation of a Petition to the Crown for a 
Brief, and in the determination to effect only such repairs as 
were absolutely necessary to make the Church useable, while 
that was being collected. 



The following is a copy of the Petition, the original of 
which was formerly in the possession of Mr. Linton of 
Dursley : 

" Dursley in To the King's most excellent Majestie 

Com. Gloucr The humble petition of the Inhabitants 

29o Martii 1699 of yor Towne of Dursley in ye County 

of Gloucr- 

Shewing unto your Matie That on Satterday the Seaventh 
day of January last past the Tower and Spire Steeple of 
the parish Church of Dursley aforesaid with the Ring of 
Bells therein by casualty and great Mischance fell downe, 
and also broke part of the West end of the said Church, 
The Damage whereof and Charge of Rebuilding the said 
Tower and repairing the said Church is estimated by work- 
men to amount unto One Thousand Nyne Hundred Ninety 
ffive pounds at the least, And yor petitions shew unto 
yor Matie that the said Towne and parish is very small 
the whole yearly Vallue of all the lands of the said Parish 
not exceedinge Six Hundred pounds by Estimation, and 
that greatly burthened with numbers of poore which takes 
up a ffourth at least of the yearly vallue of the said 
Parish, whereby yor petition^ are unable to beare the 
Charge aforesaid of rebuilding the said Tower and re- 
pairinge the Church without some Charitable assistance. 

Maurice Phillips, Baylif 
John Arundel 
John Tippetts 
Thomas King 
Isaac Smyth 
John Parbeedge 
Abrah Stiff 
Will. Danford 
Ob Baker 

Wherefore yor petition^ humbly 
beseech yor Matie to grant to y r 
petitrs your Gracious letters patents 
to aske gather and receive the 
Charitable benevolence of yo r 
Maties Loving Subjects towards the 
great Charge and pious worke 

And yr petitions as in duty 

F 2 


John Wood bound shall ever pray. 

Saml Kingg Thomas Purnell 

John Webb Nicholas Neale 

Jno Arundell Jur James Harding 

Samll Clarke Richard Tippetts 

Jooseph Dallemore John Purnell " 

Morris Phillips Sen. 

Tho Fryer 

William Litton 

Joseph Pulley 

Thomas Phelps 

This petition was not granted probably for some years. An 
extract previously given from the accounts of Orrnsby St. 
Margaret shews that it was being collected at the end' of 
1707, when that not too liberal Parish contributed one penny 
towards "the great Charge and pious worke." In the 
Dursley accounts for the same year there are also the two 
entries "1707 

lit. at the first meeting for ye Brief 10s Od. 

Itt. w n you met to put y r hands to the Brief 9s Od " 
Perhaps the petition of 1699 had not been granted at all, 
and another was sent up in 1707 which met with better 

Meanwhile the repairs decided upon were set in hand soon 
^fter the accident had occurred. The sum of 24. 5. 5. 
was paid " for building the piller in the Church and the 
Butreses against the Church walls," 1. 9. 4. "forquaryen 
and hailing for the Church Bartlements." 12. 2. 11. for 
" carpenter's work about the Church." 8. 9. 5. for " laborers 
for Removing the Stone of the tower and steple and the 
Rubish in the Churchyard," and other work. 2. 6. 0. to 
" the free Mason for 23 dayes work about Carving and Seting 
up the New bartlements on the Church." 

At the same time new roofs were put to " the three lies " 


the new timber for which cost 22. 16. 6. the tiles and lead 
16. 4. 6: the tiles being 18,650 in number at Us. a 
thousand, including carriage from the tile pits ; and the tilers' 
labour 7. 16. 0., being 24 " pearch at 6s 6d Pr pearch." 

In the Inventory for November 2d 1699, there is an entry 
of " five bells which did belong to the tower and the Clock," 
and " the stem of the weather cock " is added on Oct. 4, 
1700, the clock being entered as "a ould Iron Clock." 
There were also received 3s. 6d. for " 3 Cannons broke at the 
faU of the Bells, 7 Ibs. at 6d," and for 106 pounds of " ould 
Iron" and "ould Cramps" 14s. Id. These bells, or some 
of them, still remained useable, however, and a temporary 
wooden tower was erected to hold them, probably at the 
Church House. The labour for this cost 18 7. 9. ; Timber 
cost 11. 12. 6. ; Iron work and nails cost 2. 18. 11. ; 
and 3^9 " foote of Board for the wooden Tower, with 9 days 
work at it" cost 3. 15. 6. In 1701 there is still " Pd to 
John Mills for beere for workmen 1. 17. 6." and 6. 4. 7. 
for boards and lime. In 1702 there is a charge of three 
shillings paid to Henry Collier " for making a scaffold for 
him, and mending the tower and bell frame," which looks 
like work connected with the temporary re-hanging of the 
bells : but there is no other entry that throws light upon the 
matter, and no money was as yet entered for payments to 
ringers. In 1703, however, "a Rope"- a very familiar 
charge again appears in the accounts at the usual price of 
six shillings : and payment of 4s. 6d. " att Gunpowder 
treason," and five shillings " at Thanksgiving day " in that 
year, together with four shillings " to the Ringers at Visita- 
tion, " shew that the bells had now again come into use, 
though only in their temporary wooden tower. 

As soon as the Brief had been collected the work of re- 
building commenced. This was in 1708, when the Church- 
wardens begin their account of much beer at the Bell and the 


Lamb with the entry of 5s 3d spent " Att y e Bell w n y* 
tower builders came first." There are very few details 
recorded respecting the work, and it appears to have been 
done by contract. The Brief had yielded only one fourth of 
the sum asked for and so all thought of rebuilding the Spire 
was abandoned. The first entry about actual work is " For 
cleaning ye rubish from ye old Tower, 1. 05. 00," in 1708; 
and the work appears to have occupied about two years, for 
the date of 1709 is inscribed on the tower under the clock, 
while in 1710 the Churchwardens paid 3. 1. 9. "for 
timber for the Ringing loft ; " and then, for a wind up of the 
whole, 3. 0. 0. " ffor 2 Diners for the men yt bild y e 

The Petition for the Brief shews that the sum asked for 
was only 5 short of 2,000, the small diminution probably 
bringing it within a smaller scale of duty : but the final 
accounts shew how much short of this sum was contributed, 
or what is more probable how much stuck to the fingers of 
lawyers, officials, and other necessary evils, on the way. 

" An Account of the p'duce of Dursley Breife [A.D. 1711]. 

1st Receipt 400 

2d Receipt 80 

3d Receipt 48. 6. 2 

4th Receipt 21. 9. 11 

5th Receipt 19. 17. 8 

totall p'duce 569. 13. 9 

Disbursement of the Breife Money. 

s d 

paid Bawler and Samsion for Building the Tower 500. 0. 

pd Rudhall for a Treble Bell 36. 10. 


s d 

pd Tho. Steight of painshaw for Clock and 
Chymes and Carridge from Berkeley ) 

569. 8. 
pd John Phillipps and Nathaniel Webb 

p'sent Churchwardens the Ballance being 5. 9 

569. 13. 9" 

It is curious to observe that the parishioners of Dursley of 
that day did not think it necessary to contribute a penny as 
even Ormsby St. Margaret's parish near Yarmouth did 
towards the rebuilding of their Church Tower, and that when 
all was told they were richer by just five shillings and 
ninepence than they would have been if the disaster had not 
happened. Times are changed, and changed for the better. 
But whether they obtained the money from home or abroad it is 
certain that they who rebuilt the Tower did it in a manner 
deserving of very high commendation ; and among the very 
few Church Towers of its date that of Dursley may claim to 
be one of the best, from being so closely in accordance with 
the ecclesiastical architecture of earlier date. Probably the 
builders were prudent enough to take the older Tower for 
their pattern as far as it could be remembered, and they may 
have used the old materials as far as was possible, though 
they do not seem to have been used to any great extent. 1 
Not long ago it was nearly covered with ivy, but this was 
considered to be so injurious to the walls that it has been 

1 In the year 1874 some alterations were made at the old Eectory 
house, now superseded by a new one, which brought to light some 
fragments of old ecclesiastical building of early fifteenth century date, 
which had been inserted into a wall, on the plaster of which was 
scratched the date 1709. These fragments are probably portions of 
the old Church Tower, and consist of portions of a large arch which 
may have been a doorway, together with some window mullions> 


About thirty years after the rebuilding of the Tower, 
probably in 1738, the ancient Chancel of the Church was 
taken down and replaced by a smaller one at the cost of the 
then Rector, Archdeacon Geekie, but no record of this 
remains in the parish, and the rebuilt Chancel has itself 
disappeared before its present noble successor. 

The recent Restoration. 

The Church of Dursley had fallen into such a state of 
decay, however, in the middle of the present century that it 
was found necessary to carry out some very important repairs, 
and the opportunity was used for making several improve- 

In the year 1866, an Architect, who had been directed to 
examine the fabric, reported that it was in a most unsatis- 
factory condition. Owing to the failure of the foundations 
nearly all the north and south walls had fallen out of the 
perpendicular, and the pillars and arches of the Nave had 
followed suite, the north wall leaned over to the extent of 
fourteen inches, and the corresponding arcade as much as 
nine and a half inches. The western part of the South 
Arcade had been so twisted that one half leaned northward, 
and the other half southward : while the adjoining fine Porch 
with the parvise above it was crumbling to the dust as the 
tower had done. The modern low-pitched roofs were also of 
very inferior quality and character, galleries blocked up the 

portions of pillars, and what looks like a piscina but may have been 
a holy water stoup. They are in the outer wall of the house, facing 
the road. 

In the interior of the same house is a very fine stone fire place, 
which had been entirely concealed. This is about ten feet broad and 
five and a half feet high, with mouldings of a bold character, and 
some curious corner niches. In an upper room a smaller stone fire 
place was found, but this was of simpler character, and probably of 
later date. The larger one may belong to the fourteenth century. 


windows, and high pews held possession of the floor. If ever 
there was a fair case for the real restoration of a Church that 
of Dursley was one. 

During the next two years this restoration of the fahric 
was effectually carried out, the Church being at the same time 
enlarged. The walls and arcades having been partly rebuilt a 
Clerestory was added to the Nave which has given a noble 
heighth to the interior and supplied it with abundance of 
light. The Chancel was rebuilt on a larger scale, being ex- 
tended twenty-five feet eastward, and a considerable space 
was thus added to the Nave. A new Yestry and Organ 
Chamber were built on the South Side of the Chancel, and 
the division between the latter and the Nave has been marked 
by a fine arch with elaborately carved mouldings. 

In effecting these repairs and alterations very great care 
was properly taken to make the work one of restoration as far 
as could possibly be done, and to avoid the destruction of 
anything which could possibly be preserved. To prevent the 
Church from falling into ruins it was necessary to take down 
tottering walls and pillars, but stones were carefully numbered 
as they were removed, and replaced in the same situation which 
they had previously occupied : and when each column was 
set up again on its new foundation of concrete two yards deep, 
it was, in fact, the column which the builders of the fifteenth 
century had erected restored rather than renovated, and made 
good for centuries as they would have wished to see done had 
they risen to look on their half-ruined work. 

Church restorations are not effected without much expendi- 
ture of money, and the expenditure on that at Dursley 
amounted to 5,624. 13s. Od., of which one fifth was pro- 
vided by the Eector, and the remainder by freely-given con- 
tributions of the parishioners and their friends. 

The Church is now a goodly structure of size proportioned 
to the requirement of its position, and with a Chancel 



suitable for the dignified performance of Divine Service 
according to those good old principles of the Book of Common 
Prayer, which are now so much better understood than they 
were in the last century. 

It consists of a Nave with North and South Aisles which 
take in the small eastern chapels that were formerly screened 
off from their eastern end, of a Chancel with a Vestry and 
Organ Chamber on the South Side, a Western tower, and a 
fine South porch. The dimensions of the building are as 
follows : 



Ft. In. 

Ft. In. 

Length of Nave 

101 8 


North Aisle 

83 8 

89 4 

South Aisle 

70 4 


Tanner Chapel 




Breadth of Nave and Aisles 


65 8 

Tanner Chapel 

12 8 


19 4 

Total length of Church 

134 8 


The oldest portion of the Church dates from the fourteenth 
century, but this consists only of a single window and a small 
part of the wall ; and it may be called a late fifteenth century 
Church with an eighteenth century tower, and a Clerestory 
and Chancel of recent date. The outer walls are built of the 
peculiar "puff" or "tuff" stone which is found in Dursley, 
and which was also used for filling in the groined roof of 
Gloucester Cathedral and for building the Castle at Berkeley^ 

1 This peculiar stone is very similar in appearance to the volcanic 
" tufa" of the Catacomhs near Rome, but is in reality a crystalline 
lime stone of aqueous origin similar to stalactite. It is said to exist 
only in two other places, one in Devonshire and the other in Germany- 


There are no relics of the more ancient Church, with the 
exception of a slab of stone lying at the foot of the newell 
staircase which leads up to the room over the porch. This is 
a portion of a coffin cover on which is incised the head of a 
cross, similar to those which are built into the north wall of 
the nave at Beverston [page 113]: and it may have formed 
part of the floor of the Church in the thirteenth century. 

The principal objects of antiquarian interest in the Church 
are the three fine sedilia in the north wall of St. Mary's 
Aisle, the roof of the Tanner chapel, and the memorial 
figure of the founder of that chapel. The monument of 
Tanner originally consisted of a table tomb, surmounted by a 
canopy of four arches under which lay one of those ghastly 
stone corpses which were so commonly used as memorials in 
the fifteenth and the earlier half of the sixteenth century. 
Similar ones may be seen at Tewkesbury Abbey, Bristol 
Cathedral, Winchester, Exeter, and many other churches. 
That of Tanner is now headless, the canopy has gone, and 
what remains has been built into the sill of the window. 
But a leaden plate is let into the stone above the place where 
the head has lain, and the inscription upon it shews that the 
remains of the generous Pounder whom it commemorates have 
been treated with more respect than his monument. 


^ - This Vault (in which the remains of 

iS S TANNEB founder of this Chappie were 

i-, ^H t~. 

^ CM "^ deposited) was opened & his bones 

to a -2 collected & preserved in this place by 
1|| W. F. Shrapnell Surgeon 

^ "S ANNO 1789. 

Notwithstanding the cavities in its substance the Tuff" stone is exceed- 
ingly strong and durable ; for though it is softer when taken from the 
quarry than ordinary stone, it becomes extremely hard by exposure to 
the air. 



Such history of the bells as there is, and it is very little, 
belongs to this period. It begins with the payment of 
3. 19. 6. in the year 1639 "for the Sante Bell," and of 
Is. 6d. for " bringing the Sante bell." The original purpose 
of the Sancte, Sanctus, or Sainte, bell, was that of warning 
persons outside the Church that the most solemn part of the 
Communion Service was commencing, that which is called 
"the Canon," or the portion associated with the Consecration. 1 
This part of the Service was introduced by the Preface and 
the Ter Sanctus, and thus the Latin word for our " Holy, 
Holy, Holy," which is Sanctus, became the Christian name of 
this member of the Bell family : the English form of it being 
" Saints Bell," meaning not any personal Saints but the 
Three Saints or Sancts of the Seraphic Hymn. But when 
the Sante Bell was put up in its turret or " cote " at the east 
end of the South Aisle of Dursley Church in 1639, it was 
probably intended to be used for ringing in the " two or 
three " who " gathered together " to the daily services. 
This purpose is illustrated by the familiar passage in Barnabas 
Oley's Life of George Herbert, who died in 1633, six years 
before, that " he brought most of his parishioners and many 
gentlemen in the Neighbourhood constantly to make a part of 
his congregation twice a day : and some of the meaner sort 
of his Parish did so love and reverence Mr. Herbert that they 
would let their plough rest when Mr. Herbert's Saint's bell 
rang out to prayers, that they might also offer their devotions 
to God with him ; and would then return back to their 

1 The " Sacring Bell " was a small hand bell kept on one of the 
Altar steps and rung at the time of the actual consecration, the words 
of " sacring," or consecration, being said in so low a voice that 
without this warning the congregation would not have known when 
it took place. At Brokenborough in Wiltshire, not more than 12 
miles from Dursley, there was a little peal of eighteen bells rung by 
one wheel for this purpose. 


plough." It was also used as a "Sermon bell" in the 
afternoon when Sermons were not common at that time of the 
day, or for the young people to come to the Catechizing : a 
large bell being first rung or tolled for some time and then 
the "ting-tang" for five or ten minutes. 1 This use of such 
a bell is curiously mentioned in the Life of John Bold, who 
was Vicar of Stoney Stanton in Leicestershire, for the first 
half of the eighteenth century. "I have often" said an old 
man to his biographer " at the ringing of the bell on Saturday 
afternoon, left my plough for half an hour for instruction, 
and afterwards returned to it again." And another said, 
" Ah, Sir, that was a fine team I drove when I was young : 
but, Sir, whenever the Church bell rang at three o'clock on 
Saturday afternoon I always left my team when at plough to 
come to Mr. Bold to be catechized, and then went back again 
to plough." 

It was probably the use of the bell for daily service by 
Archdeacon Robinson which led to its removal from the beli- 
cote when Puritan influence gained the ascendancy in 
Dursley ; for in 1646 it is found in the Parish Chest and 
entered as "on saynts bell" in the Inventories until 1694. 
It was pawned for l. 5. 9. in 1647 under the following 
order of the Vestry. " It is orderede by the p'ish that Jo. 
Tilladame and Edmond Perett to keepe the Saints bell till 
they be payd on pound and five shillings and 9d : wch they 

1 So a contemporary writer describes the use of a Sermon bell at 
Durham before the Reformation. " Every Sonnday in the yere there 
was a sermon preched in the Galleley [of the Cathedral] at afternonne 
from one on the clocke till iij ; and at xij of the clock the great bell 
of the Galleley was toulled, every Sonndaie iij quarters of an houre, 
and roung the forth quarter till one of the clock, that all the people 
of the towne might have warnyng to come and here the worde of God 
preched." [Rites of Durham, Surtees Soc. ed. p. 33.] 

The "ting- tang" between the Nave and Chancel is always rung 
for the last five minutes before Service begins at Over near 


have layd oute in theire office of Churchwardens betwix this 
and $$ l Mychell the Archangell." In 1694 we come to the 
end of its history in the entry " Recevid for ye Saints Bell " 
2. 2. 6. 

In the same year in which the Sancte Bell was put up, 
1639, a new ring of bells was cast out of the old ones and 
new metal : and curiously enough the casting seems to have 
taken place on the spot and not at a hell-foundry. 

The first notice of this is the entry of a sum of 7s. Id. 
" Paid for mr Purdie's expenses when he was sent for about 
the bells." The bell doctor seems at first to have tried an 
inexpensive cure for a cracked bell, for this is a subsequent 
entry, " It. pd to Pardy for cutting the peece out of the bell, 
0. 0. 6 : " but a sixpenny remedy was not one likely to prove 
satisfactory, and so on the next page begins the record of " a 
Rate of Thirty four months pay for and towards the settinge 
up of the bells and other necessary reparations of the Church." 
This "rate" was a noble parochial assessment towards the 
new ring of bells, for out of 129 collected, about 120 
was used (with other money) for that purpose alone. The 
highest amount given by one person was 7. 18. 8., the sum 
which stands against the name of " Ann Purnell widd. : " 
the lowest amount was five shillings. In addition to the 
legal assessment thus agreed upon, and for which 76 names 
are down, there is also another account of " More received 
of those yt paid of ffree gifte towards ye settinge upp 
of o r bells." This additional subscription amounted to 
15. 7. 10, being made by 45 persons, among whom are 
" my lord Bishop " and " Doer Robinson " the Archdeacon 
and Rector. 

The greater part of the sum thus collected was placed at 
once in the hands of the bell founder, the first entry in respect 

1 The Puritans objected to calling any one " Saints " but them- 
selves. For themselves they used the name constantly. 


to money " Disbursed and laide out towards the settinge up 
of ye bells and otber things thereunto belonginge," l being 
" Paid unto Roger Purdy and unto Mr. Knowles for the use 
of Purdy for mettell and for castinge and for frames 
13611 Os Od 

The next entry shews that the belfry was used as the local 
and temporary bell foundry, the Churchwardens having 
" Paid unto Edward Harrell for the p'tition betwixt ye Church 
and bellfree 0. 16. 0." Then this financial "Song of the 
Bell" has a few stanzas which indicate the progress made 
though unfortunately without any indication of dates beyond 
that of the year, and Gunpowder Treason day, when doubt- 
less the bellfounders held high festival. 

li s d 

gave to ye bellfounders at the running of ye bells 036 
paid for carryinge the mettell unto ye pitt . . . . 3 
paid at ye bringinge downe of ye bells . . . . 2 

Spent when the bells were weighed 5 

Spent uppon the 5th of November 010 8 

paid for massons worke 6 6 

paid for bell ropes 8 9 

paid for a Corde 3 

paid to Morris Leauis for makings Cleane the 

% Bellfree when the bells were to be rung ..010 
laid out for breade and beare and horsemeate uppon 

nir Knowles when he reed his last money ..014 
gave to the bellfounders at y e making ye moulds 006 
Paide to James Prince for ye lock and Jemells for 

ye p'tition doore between ye Church and 

bellfree and for nayles 6 

Paide for Nayles for ye Clockhowse 6 

Paide to Richard Oliver for mendinge the Clocke 

and other Iron worke about ye bells . . . . 4 

1 But these " disbursements " include the customary expenses 
entered in the annual accounts. 


li s d 
Paidc to Edwarde Harrell for ye Alterringe of ye 

Clockhowse 5 

Item paid for five bell ropes and for cariage of them 

from Dorchester 010 8 

Strange to say, although hefore this re-casting of the hells 
there are regular entries of payments for ringing them, no 
such payments appear from that time until the Restoration. 
Here and there are charges for a hell rope and for repairing 
the wheel of the great hell, hut it seems as if the trade of 
the ringers was gone and the hells were silenced for nearly 
twenty years, during the reign of Puritanism. Then comes 
an entry in 1661 of an event that set the heart of England 
heating with joy like the heart of a man who finds that he 
has come to his right mind after twenty years' madness, " pd 
to the Ringers at ye Coronation day. .0. 5. 0." 

A few more entries may be noticed as referring to events 
of national interest. In 1689 the Churchwardens paid one 
shilling and sixpence on beer for the ringers when the Seven 
Bishops were liberated from the Tower of London: three 
shillings on Thanksgiving day for the Prince of Orange : and 
seven shillings when he was proclaimed King in the place of 
James II. In 1707 there is an entry of five shillings paid 
for ringing at the Duke of Marlborough's victory of Ramillies, 
and in 17.08 a similar payment was made at the Thanksgiving 
for the victory of Oudenarde ; and another " for the victory in 

The last entries of special interest which are connected 
with the bells are those which record that in 1716 the parish 
" Pd to the ringers for routing the rebells " four shillings, 
" when the Pretender fled from Scotland " six shillings, and 
half-a-crown for "some good news" which the Churchwardens 
do not seem to have been able more accurately to define. 

The bells now in the tower are eight in number. They are 
all inscribed " T. Mears of London fecit 1824." and on the 
tenor is the further inscription "Edward "Wellington and 
James Young Churchwardens." 



Robert Morton 1482 6. A nephew of Cardinal Morton. 
Prebendary of Lincoln. Archdeacon of Win- 
chester and York as well as of Gloucester. 
Became Bishop of Worcester in 1487, died in 
1497, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. 

John Dunmow 1487 8. 

Simon Clement 1488 9. Was also Archdeacon of Worcester. 

John de Gyglis 1489 97. An Italian who, with his brother 
and successor at Worcester, received the profits 
of English preferments and lived at Rome. 
He was also Archdeacon of London. Became 
Bishop of Worcester in 1497, and died at Rome 
in 1498. 

Geoffrey Blythe 14971503. Was also Dean of York. 
Provost of King's College, Cambridge, Pre- 
bendary of St. Paul's, and Archdeacon of 
Salisbury. He became Bishop of Lichfield in 
1503, and dying in 1530 was buried in his 

Thomas Ruthal 1503 1509. Was also Dean of Salisbury, 
and became Bishop of Durham in 1509. He 
was buried at Westminster with the title 
" Secretary to Henry VII." on his tomb. 
Ruthal was a Cirencester man, and the grand 
Parish Church there was built at his expense. 
But there is no record that he ever did any- 
thing for Dursley, though he was a" great 
builder, and though he was worth the enormous 
.. sum of 100,000 to be multiplied by at least 
twelve for our money shortly before his death. 

Peter Carmelian 1511 18. He was a man of considerable 
importance ; being Latin Secretary to Henry 


the Seventh, and having matters of state en- 
trusted to his management. He was also Poet 
Laureate, and some of his poems are among 
the very earliest works printed in England by 
Rood, Caxton, and Pynson. He was unlike 
most other authors in being very rich ; having 
been able in 1522 to contribute 333. 6. 8. 
towards the expenses of the King in France, 
a sum not far off 4,000 of modern money. 

John Bell 1518 39. He succeeded Latimer in the Bishopric 
of Worcester in 1539, and d)ing in 1543 was 
buried in Clerkenwell Church. 

Nicholas Wotton 1540 44. Was also Dean of Canterbury 
and York, being the only person who ever held 
these two Metropolitical Deaneries together. 
He was constantly employed in affairs of state 
by Henry VIII., Edward VI., Queen Mary, 
and Queen Elizabeth : and was said to have 
refused the Archbishopric of Canterbury. 

Guy Eaton 1544 54. Left England on accession of Queen 

John Williams 1554 58. Was also Chancellor and Pre- 
bendary of Gloucester. 

Guy Eaton 1559 75. Returned on accession of Queen 

George Savage 1575 1602. Was also a member of the High 
Court of Commission, and in 1580 was ap- 
pointed Commissary for his Metropolitical 
Visitation by Archbishop Whitgift. 

Robert Hill 16021607. Was also Rector of Tedington. 

Samuel Burton 1607 34. Was also Rector of Dry Marston 
for 36 years : and lies there in the Chancel with 
an inscription which states that he was Arch- 
deacon to five Bishops of Gloucester. 


Hugh Robinson 1634 45. "Was turned out by the Puritans 
and made to ride from Dursley to Gloucester 
with his face to the horse's tail. He was 
buried in St. Giles in the Fields. 

Yacant 1645 60. Jos : Woodward appears as Minister for 
part of the time. Henry Stubbs was his 
assistant, and succeeded him. Stubbs was per- 
mitted to hold the benefice of Horsley, though 
not in holy orders, until 1678, and dying in 
London in that year was buried in Bunhill 
Fields. His funeral sermon was preached by 
his friend and "unworthy fellow- servant, 
Richard Baxter," and is in print. 

John Middleton 166062. "Was also Rector of Hamnell 
where he was buried. 

Edward Pope 166271. Was also Rector of Walton on the 
Hill, Surrey, where he lies buried. 

John Gregory 1671 78. Was also Rector of Hempsted, 
where he lies buried. 

Thomas Hyde 16791703. Was also Professor of Hebrew 
at Oxford, and was buried at Handborough. 

Robert Parsons 1703 1714. Was also Rector of Oddington, 
where he lies buried. 

Nathaniel Lye 1714 37. Was also Prebendary of Gloucester 
and of Bristol, and Rector of Kemerton. Was 
buried in St. Michael's, Gloucester, in the 90th 
year of his age. 

William Geekie 1738 67. Was also Prebendary of Canter- 
bury and of St. Paul's. 

Richard Hurd 1767 74. Became Bishop of Lichfield and 
afterwards of Worcester. 

James Webster 1774 1804. He was also Vicar of Much 
Cowarne in Herefordshire, and Perpetual Curate 
of Stroud. His wife was a niece of Bishop 
Warburton ; and Warburton's much loved 

G 2 


sister, Frances, lived at the Rectory after her 
brother's insanity had become hopeless until 
her death in 1780 There seems to have been 
much affectionate intercourse between the 
Bishop and the Archdeacon, although War- 
burton held one of his fiercest of all fierce 
controversies with the Archdeacon's father. 
Archdeacon Webster, with his wife, two 
daughters, and Miss Warburton, was buried 
in the Chancel of the Church, and their monu- 
ment is now on the South wall of the Nave. 

Timothy Stonehouse Viger 18041814. 

Thomas Budge 181425. 

John Timbrill 182565 Was also Vicar of Beckford. He 
was the last Archdeacon of Gloucester who 
was Rector of Dursley. 

George Madan 1865 


1618 Samuel Hallo wes. 

1653 Jos. Underwood [Puritan minister]. 

1662 Henry Stubbs [Puritan minister]. 

1662 70 James Whiting. 

1670 84 Edward Towgood [ Edwards, ffortune 

1686 1703 John Elliott. Hanley, Lecturers 

17031705 William Evans with Mr. Towgood]. 

17051709 Richard Millechamp [Rector of Rudford]. 

1709 1710 John Jackson. 

1710 1715 Edward Turner, Vicar of Cam, called on his 

Cam monument " sometime Vicar of Dursley." 
1715 1737 Daniel Capel, buried in Dursley Church. 
1737 1764 Charles Wallington, also Vicar of Frampton, 

buried in Dursley Church. 
1764 1775 Thomas Gregory. 



YEAR 1841. 

William Cox Buchanan 1841 2 

Charles King 18412 

John Vizard 18427 

William Champion 18423 

John Tilton 18434 

William Harris 18445 

Eobert Blandford 18456 

Joseph Cooper Player 1846 7 

Edward Bloxsome, jun. 1847 8 

Charles Hamilton 1847 8 

George Vizard 18489 

Joseph Shellard 184851 

Robert John Purnell 184951 

Henry Bishop 18514 

William Tyrrell 18513 

John Owen 1853 4 

Edward Parker Shute 1854 6 

Isaac Gardner 1854 6 

William John Phelps 18567 

Thomas Blackney 18569 

William Philip Want 18579 

Thomas Morse 1859 61 

Frederick Vizard 1859 61 

Fitzherbert White 18612 

Eichard Gam 1861 3 

Isaac Gardner 1862 3 

Henry Owen 1863 6 

Daniel Crump 18636 

John Vizard 186670 

James Whitmore 1866 68 

William Richards 186871 

George Leonard 1870 2 

George Ayliffe 18713 

Thomas Trewren Vizard 1872 6 

George Wenden 1873 6 



The following Notes on the Charity Endowments of 
Dursley are abstracted from the Tables in the Church, from 
the Charity Commissioners' Report of 1827, and from the 
Churchwardens' Register. 

A.D. 1 450. MB. SPILLMAN of Spillman's Court, Gloucester- 
shire, and others, about the year 1450, gave an estate 
called Oxlease, in Standish, then valued at 50 a year, 
for the benefit of the poor. This was reduced to 4 a 
year, after a suit in Chancery, the decree of the Court 
being in issue in 1624. [See Ch. Com. Rep. 328.] 
Traces of this charity are to be found in the Church- 
wardens' Register under the name of " the Oxlidge 

the "Church House" and the "Torch Acre" to the 
parishioners of Dursley, and in 1654 the proceeds were 
applied to the repair of the Church ; a chief rent being 
paid to the Lord of the Manor. In the Report of the 
Charity Commissioners this benefaction is described as 
" a burgage or tenement, now known by the name of the 
Church House, with the gardens and grounds thereto 
adjoining, within the borough town of Dursley next the 
highway there, leading towards Woodmancote, on the 
south side, and to the churchyard of Dursley on the 
north side." It is " now used as the parish poor-house." 
The Report further states that it was- the gift of RICHARD 
FYNNIMORE and THOMAS HEVEN for the repairs of the 
Church. The original Deed of this benefaction was lost 
in the seventeenth century, but a new Deed of Charles 
the Second's reign is among the papers in the Parish 


A.D. 1603. "Mr. Atwel's 

Letts Jesus 

The towne of Dursley 

" I geive to dursley thirtie three shillings and iiijd for ever 
to keepe the poore at worke the gaine the poores to be 
disposed by the master and officers of the town and 
p'ishe or els such as they shall thinke fitt, for the true 
disposition thereof. Yo r friende and wellwisher Hughe 
Atwell p'son of St Kewe in cornwell In times past 
p'son of Camberlye in Devonshire. 

I pray returne yo r letts wth sume of yor names and 
seale of the truthe for the true receivinge therof." 
[From the Churchwardens' Register. ,] 

A.D. 1617. The "Almshouses" are said to have been given 
to the Parish at this date. But entries of a chief rent 
paid for them to Mr. Webb are extant as early as 1566 
in the Churchwardens' Register. 

A.D. 1637. HUGH SMITH of Dursley, mason, gave three 
tenements, part of the Broadwell House, to the poor, 
and 40s. as stock, the use of it for the Church. 

" The Coppy of the Contents of the Last Will and 

Testament of Hugh Smith of Dursley deceased 

bearinge date the first daye of January 1637. 

Concerninge his gift by his said will to the use of 

the Church and poor of the p'ish of Dursley. 

Item. I give and bequeath to the use of the poore 

Inhabitants of the towne and p'ish of Dursley for ever a 

parte of the Broadwell house that is the three Tenements 

that John Roac Thomas Adeane and Agnes Gilles nowe 

dwell in payeinge yearelye four pounds rente to Richard 

Smith and his heires and the rents and proffitts of these 

three Tennements from tyme to tyme to be att the 

disposeinge of the Churchwardens and Overseers and to 


be bestowed on such poore people as they in theire 
discretion shall see most fitt to have it. 
It, I give fforty shillings to bee keepte by the Church- 
wardens from tyme to tyme as a stocke the use of it to 
bee bestowed on the Church and alsoe I give Twenty 
Shillings to the poore to be bestowed presentlye." 
[From the Churchwardens' Register. .] 

A.D. 1642. The rent of certain houses in Tetbury was 
given by SIR THOMAS ESTCOTJET, 40s. for a lecture to be 
delivered four times a year at Tetbury, and the rest for 
the poor of Tetbury and Dursley equally. The amount 
for Dursley was fixed by a Chancery decree at 10 a 
year. In 1857 the Lord of the Manor offered to give 
up all his Manorial rights in the town of Dursley to the 
inhabitants if they would obtain a Charter of Incor- 
poration. They wished first to be released from this 
Eent Charge, and this not being done the proposal fell 

A.D. 1663. THMOGMORTON TROTMAN of London, gave to 
the Haberdashers' Company 2000 to produce 100 a 
year, 15 of which was for giving a lecture "on the 
market days or some other day " at Dursley, and if 
that be not allowed, to the poor there. 

A.D. 1678. HENRY STTJBBS gave ten shillings yearly, 
chargeable on land in Horsley, for the purchase of Bibles 
and Primers. This Benefaction is entered in the Church- 
wardens' Register for many years, but is now lost. 

A.D. 1703. JOHN ARTJNDELL, Clothier, gave an acre " lying 
upon Breakneck " in Cam, the rent to be applied to 
buying books to teach poor children of Dursley to read 

A.D. 1769. JACOB STIFF, Cardmaker, gave 30, the 
interest to be laid out at Christmas in bread, for widows 
and other poor people in Dursley. 


A.D. 1781. In accordance with a previous will of MES. 
ANN PTJBNELL, a piece of pasture land called " New 
Invention" in Cam, was charged, after a deduction of 
3. 4. 6. yearly, with the annual sums of 10s. to the 
minister for a sermon on New Year's Day, 30s. to forty 
widows, 10s. to the minister for a sermon on Good 
Friday afternoon, and the rest to the same purposes as 
Stubbs' Charity. 

A.D. 1781. In accordance with the previous will of NATHL. 
LAWSON, clothier, a piece of pasture land in Cam, called 
" Martha Nelmes's leaze," about two acres, was given 
to provide bread at Christmas for the poor of Dursley. 

A.D. 1791. SAMUEL ADET gave 100 to the Gloucester 
Infirmary, on condition that it should receive two in- 
patients from Dursley annually, and 100, the interest 
to be distributed in bread four times a year to the poor 
of Dursley who regularly attend Divine Service. 

A.D. 1798. SAMUEL PHILLIMOEE gave 150 to be invested 
in real property, one-third of the rent of which was to 
be given in bread at Easter to the poor. 

A.D. 1811. RICHARD JONES of Dursley gave 

1. 250 consols to the Gloucester Infirmary, on con- 

dition that it receive one in-patient and two out- 
patients annually from Dursley. 

2. A similar sum to the Bath Hospital, on the same 


3. 450 consols to repew the Church, which was done 

in 1825. 

4. 300 stock for the Boys' Sunday School. 

5. 300 stock for the Girls' ditto. 

6. Other sums (amounting to 700 stock, Char. Comm. 

Report,) for four friendly societies of Dursley. 
A.D. 1836. JOHN HAEVEY OLLNET of Cheltenham, Lieut.- 
Col., gave 300 to be invested, for coals and blankets 
for the poor of Dursley at Christmas. 


A.D. 1837. THOMAS GREGORY, apothecary of Dursley, gave 

50 to be invested, for bread on St. Stephen's day. 
A.D. 1863. The EEV. R. JERMYN COOPER, Rector of West 
Chiltington, Sussex, gave 100 consols, for soup to be 
given away in January and February. 
A.D. 1854. GEORGE VIZARD of Dursley, banker, gave 200, 
the interest to be expended in bedding and clothing for 
the poor of Dursley. 
A.D. 1834. HENRY VIZARD gave the National School house 

and ground, and the Master's residence. 
2 In 1843, he gave four cottages and a building in 
Bower's Court for establishing and supporting an 
Infant School, and endowed it with 1000 

3. In 1853, he gave six cottages and gardens for alms- 

houses for three men and three women, and 2000 
as an endowment, to be spent in repairs, payment 
of taxes, and allowance to the inmates. 

4. In 1855, he gave 200 to the Gloucester Infirmary, 

on condition that it should admit one in-patient 
and one out-patient annually from Dursley. 

5. In 1856, he gave 500, for blankets and clothing 

for the poor on St. Stephen's day. 


The town of Dursley extends itself eastward in a long 
suburb which is supposed to have been originally called 
Wodemancote from being the residence of the officer who 
had charge of the vast woods which formerly grew in this 

This Manor has always been separate from that of Dursley, 
and was for some time part of the great possessions of the 
Berkeley s of Beverston. It does not appear in Domesday 
Book, nor among the estates of the Berkeleys of Berkeley, 
and its history before the thirteenth century is unknown. 
About 1220 it was in the possession of the De Gaunts of 
Beverston, Maurice de Gaunt having then made a grant of 
land in the township to the Nuns of Clerkenwell. [See p. 32.] 
That Lord of Beverston forfeited many of his Manors to the 
Crown, and probably Woodmancote was one of them, for in 
1325 it was held by Robert de Swineburne. It was pur- 
chased again for the Berkeley family by Thomas, Lord 
Berkeley, who also purchased Beverston from the Ap Adams. 
It was held by his son, Sir John Berkeley of Beverston, and 
by the descendants of that Knight, until 1557, when Sir John 
Berkeley sold it to Henry Lambert, a merchant of London. 
It continued for a century in the Lambert family, but they 
parted with it in 1670 to John Arundel, whose descendants 
again sold it, in 1736, to John de la Field Phelps, the head 


of a Dursley family, some particulars of which are given in 
the genealogical table below * 

In 1847 St. Mark's Chapel of Ease was built on land 
given by Mr. Henry Vizard, whose liberality also was largely 
shewn in its endowment : but it has no special features 
of archaeological interest that need description. It is part of 
the Rectory of Dursley, but has wardens of its own, of 
whom the following is a list : 

George Vizard 18478 John Hurndall, sen. 18518 

Edward Bloxsome, jun, 1847 8 John Chas. Bengough 18589 
Henry Vizard 184861 William Philip Want 185961 

Henry Bishop 18489 Edward Wallington 186176 

Edward A. Freeman 184950 John Vizard 186172 

John Rotton 18401 William Cornock 187276 

1 PHELPS of Dudley. 

Thomas Phelps= Marianne 
buried at Dursley I 
U Feb., 1647. | 

Thomas = Elizabeth "Williams 
buried 20 Mar., I 
1701. | 

Thomas = Abigail Mayo 
buried 12 April, I 
1718. | 

Thomas = Mary Arundcll 
buried 29 April, I 

John = Elizabeth Fowler 
J.P. County of I 
buried 1755. | 

John Delafleld Phelps=Esther Gully 
High Sheriff in 1761 and J.P. | 

John Delafleld Phelps, J.P. Rev. James Phelps= Marianne Blagden Hale 
d. s. p. Dec. 19, 1842. buried April, 1829. | 

William John 

of Chestal, Dursley, 

J.P. High Sheriff in 1860. 

ARMS Quarterly First Per Pale Or and Arg. a Wolf salient Az. 
between semee of Cross-Crosslets fitchy gu., for PHELPS. Second 
the coat of FOWLER. Third the coat of FIELD. Fourth Arg. three 
pales gu. a Chief Peau, for GULLY. 

CREST On a wreath a Wolf's head Az. langued and erased gu. 
collared Or. thereon a Marblet sa. 

MOTTO Frangas non fiectas. 



There is some reason for thinking that the great poet of 
England was once a resident in the town of Dursley, and that 
members of his family lived there down to recent times. 

" Some passages in his writings shew an intimate acquaint- 
ance with Dursley, and the names of its inhabitants. In 
the Second Part of Henry IV., act v. sc. 1, ' Gloucestershire,' 
Davy says to Justice Shallow ' I beseech you, Sir, to counte- 
nance William Visor of Woncot, against Clement Perkes on 
the Hill.' This Woncot, as Mr. Stevens, the commentator, 
supposes in a note to another passage in the same play (act v., 
sc. 3) is Woodmancot, still pronounced by the common people 
" Womcot," a township in the parish of Dursley. This 
Township lies at the foot of Stinchcombe Hill, still emphati- 
cally called " The Hill " in that neighbourhood on account of 
the magnificent panorama which it commands ; and of which 
a correct idea may be formed from the sketch map given at the 
beginning of this volume. On Stinchcombe Hill there is the 
site of a house wherein a family named " Purchase," or 
" Perkis," once lived : and it is reasonable to conclude that 
Perkis of Stinchcombe Hill is identical with " Clement 
Perkes of the Hill." The family of Visor were also un- 
doubted ancestors of the Dursley family known in more 
recent times by the name of Vizard. 1 (See next page.) 

In addition to these coincidences, we must mention the fact 
that a family named Shakespeare formerly resided in Dursley 
and the neighbourhood. James Shakespeare was buried at 
Bisley on March 13th, 1570. Edward, son of John and 
Margery Shakespurre was baptized at Beverston on September 
19th, 1619 [See p. 136]. The parish register of Dursley 
records that Thomas Shakespeare, weaver, was married to 
Joan Turner on March 3rd, 1677-8, and that they had 
children baptized by the name of Edward on July 1st, 1681, 


Mary on August 28th, 1682, Thomas on March 1st, 1685, 
and Mary on December 27th, 1691. The Churchwardens' 
Register also shews that there was a mason in Dursley named 
John Shakespeare in 1704, and down to 1739, that Thomas 
Shakespeare had a "seat-place" assigned to him in 1739, 
and that Betty Shakespeare received poors' money from 1747 
to 1754. Some of this family " still exist as small free- 
holders, in the adjoining parish of Newington Bagpath, and 
claim kindred with the poet." 

To this it may he added that a pathway in the woods near 
the town is traditionally known as " Shakespeare's walk ; " 
and that Shakespeare's description of " a wild prospect in 
Gloucestershire," which takes in a view of Berkeley Castle 

1 VIZARD of Dursley. 

Arthur Vizard = Joan 
Gent., Bailiff of I 
Dursley in 1612. | 

Jerome = Mary 
ob. Jan., 1670. | 

Jerome = Mary Mynett 
ob. Dec., 1711. | 

John = Hannah Hughes 
ob. Ap., 1731. I 

John = Isabella Cornock 
of Stancombe, I 
ob. Ap., 1752. I 

William = Ann Phelps 
ob. 14 Feb., 1807. | 

John = Anna Maria Weight 
ob. 22 Jan., 1814. | 

John = Mary Leigh Scott 

Mary =Eev. O. A.M. Litle Thomas Trewren Frances Alice Arthur 

Maria Cordelia 

ARMS Per fesse argent and gules a fesse ingrailed per fesse azure 
and or between three Esquire's helmets proper in the centre chief 
point a cross crosslet of the second. 

CREST On a wreath of the colours issuant out of Palisadoes or., a 
demi-Hind regardant vulned in the neck and holding between the 
pawa an arrow the point downwards. 

MOTTO Cassis tutissima Virtus. 


exactly answers to the view on which the eye still rests 
when the spectator is standing on Stinchcombe Hill, although 
cultivation has made it somewhat less " wild " than in 
Elizabethan or Jacobean days. 

" How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley, now ? 
North. I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire ; 

These high wild hills and rough uneven ways 
Draw out our miles, and make them wearisome." 
"But I bethink me, what a weary way 
From Ravenspurg to Cotswold will be found 
In Ross and Willoughby wanting your company," &c. 
Enter to them Harry Percy, whom Northumberland 
addresses : 

" How far is it to Berkeley ? And what stir 
Keeps good old York there, with his men of war ? 
Hotspur. There stands the castle by yon tuft of trees." 

[Rich. II. ij. 3.] 

From these scraps of evidence which are chiefly taken 
from a Note at page 21 of the Rev. Richard Webster 
Huntley's "Glossary of the Cotswold Dialect" it is not 
unreasonable to conclude that Shakespeare may have lived 
among his friends in or near Dursley during the unaccounted- 
for interval between his removal from Warwickshire and his 
appearance in London. 

Addition to foot note at page 9. 

The Market Tolls were granted to Nicholas Wykes and his heirs 
by Letters Patent of Henry VIII., dated November 12th, 1528, and 
to Sir Thomas Estcourt in 1612. Both the Market House and Tolls 
were purchased in 1840 of Thomas Grimston Bucknall Estcourt, Esq., 
the then Lord of the Manor, by Mr. Henry Vizard, who by Deed of 
Gift dated Dec. 6, 1841, and enrolled in Chancery on April 11, 1842, 
conveyed the same to seven Trustees for the benefit of the town, but 


on Dec. 28th. 1849, the Markets and Fairs held in Dursley were 
declared free from Toll, by a resolution passed at a special meeting 
of the Bailiff and Aldermen. 

The Market day is Thursday in every week. The Fairs were 
anciently held on St. Mark's Day, April 25th, and St. Clement's Day, 
November 23rd, but in recent times they have been held on May 6th 
and December 4th. 

Addition to Berkeley pedigree at page 1. 
ARMS Arg. a fess between three martlets sa. 


THE little village of Beverston lies on the south-western 
decline of the high lands dignified with the name of 
the Cotswold Hills, a few miles from the point where their 
last slope dies away in the vale of Malmesbury. There runs 
through it an old turnpike-road from South "Wales and the 
Stroudwater manufacturing district to Tetbury, Malmesbury, 
and Cirencester, but this has long been superseded by a 
railway which passes along the valleys from Gloucester 
to Swindon, so that Beverston is now unknown except to 
those who are familiar with the out-of-the-way places of 
that part of Gloucestershire. The village itself consists at the 
present time of twenty-eight houses, including the Rectory 
and two farm-houses, but it was once of considerable size, 
large enough to have a market of its own ; and, according to 
local tradition, nearly as large as the neighbouring town of 
Tetbury. "What little importance it formerly possessed has 
entirely passed away, but the source of that importance is 
still to be observed in the ivy-clad ruins of a fine old Castle 
standing on the north side of the high road, and tempting 
enquiry as to its history from the passer-by. 

That history begins more than eight hundred years ago ; 
in the days before the Normans, those great builders of 
castles, had gained any footing in England except as friends 
and guests. The name indicates that the place originally 
belonged to some gentleman or nobleman who owned the 
name of Bever, for Bever's Ton is simply the township or 


manor of Bever. 1 Who the owner of the name was, whether 
English (so-called "Anglo-Saxon") or Norman, is a fact 
yet to be drawn out of darkness of the pre-historic ages. 
The name is still known in Gloucestershire, and is familiar 
to the readers of Early English history as that of a chronicler 
of the 13th century, Bever "of Westminster" or "of 
London." The probability is, that the original Bever was 
a Norman gentleman who had settled in England during the 
twenty years or so which preceded the Conquest, when many 
such gentry came over to better themselves under the pro- 
tection of Emma, the Norman queen successively of Ethelred 
and Canute, and subsequently under that of her son Edward 
the Confessor. For it was the custom of these immigrant 
gentry to build castles on the lands granted to them, and their 
castles were not unfrequently called after their names. 
\_Ang. Sax Chron. A.B. 1052.] The settlement of Normans 
in the district previously to the Conquest is easily accounted 
for by the fact that Gloucester was a favourite residence of 
Edward the Confessor. 

1 The name of Bever appears, oddly enough, as the name of a 
witness to the signatures of the Squire and the Rector in the Tithe 
award of the Parish, which is dated in 1804. 

Leland, and those who have copied him, supposed the name of 
" Beverstone," as they wrote it, to be derived from certain " great 
blue stones " which tradition states to have been once quarried in the 
parish. No trace now exists of such stones, but a field called " Broad 
Stones " is situated about a quarter of a mile west of the Castle. 
Another explanation of the name is that it was simply Burestan, or 
" Stone Tower," and this is the way in which it is spelt in Doomsday. 
The final " e " was seldom used until the latter half of the seventeenth 
century. It is not used in the Episcopal records, and it is omitted on 
several tombstones. 

A learned Gloucestershire archaeologist, Canon Lysons, suggests to 
me that Beuer, according to the Promptorium Parvulorum means a 
drinking, and that thus Beurestan may mean a place for the growth 
of beer, that is of Barley. It is said by old labourers that there used 
formerly to be a " terrible lot " of barley grown on the Manor. 


During the reign of Edward the Confessor Beverston is 
associated with the names of Earl Godwin and his sons by the 
medieval chroniclers. It probably passed into the possession 
of Sweyn, Earl of Gloucester, on the outlawry of the Normans 
from England in A.D. 1052. \_-Ang. Sax. Chron. adann. 1052.] 
He was the most bitter of all the Godwins in his antipathy 
to the " Frenchmen " [Frencisc men], and is said by the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to have been restored by Edward to 
estates of which they had gained possession, of which Bever- 
ston may have been one. 

In the national movement which that great Englishman, 
Earl Godwin, organized against the dangerous Norman 
favourites of Edward, three armies marched from the respec- 
tive Earldoms of himself and his two sons l to a rendezvous at 
Beverston, where they met early in September, 105 1. 2 It 

1 Godwin was Earl of Wessex, Sussex, and Kent ; Sweyn his 
eldest son was Earl of Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, Oxford, and 
Berkshire ; Harold his younger son was Earl of East Anglia, Hunt- 
ingdon, and Middlesex. 

2 " Then came Godwin the Earl, and Swegen the Earl and Harold 
the Earl, to Beverston, and many men with them, in order that they 
might go to their royal lord. [Ang. Sax. Chron. ad ann. 1048.] 

" Godwin and his sons alone, who knew that they were suspected, 
not deeming it prudent to be present unarmed, halted with a strong 
force at Beverston, giving out that he had assembled an army to 
restrain the Welsh .... and a rumour prevailed that the King's army 
would attack them in that very place." \_WilliamofMalm. 198.] 

"Godwin and his sons, and their respective armies, came to 
Gloucestershire after the feast of St. Mary's Nativity" [Sept. 8th], 
" encamped at a place called Langtree, and sent ambassadors to the 
King at Gloucester, threatening war unless he gave up Earl Eustace 
and his companions, and also the Normans and Bolognese who held a 
Castle in Dovercliff. . . . The King's army was so excited that if he 
would have permitted they would immediately have attacked Earl 
Godwin's army." [Florence of Wore, ad ann. lOol.] 

The account given by Florence of Worcester is reproduced by 
Simeon of Durham, with the same date. 

H 2 


appears from the nearly comtemporary chroniclers and from 
tradition that the armies united at some place near to Bever- 
ston and then formed an encampment at TJley Bury, the 
Castle at Beverston being occupied as the head quarters of 
the Earls. TJley Bury is a strong Roman encampment about 
five miles west of Beverston on the road to Gloucester ; and 
is in the hundred of Longtree (of which Tetbury is the 
principal town) although Beverston itself is in the hundred 
of Berkeley. Rudder says that "some accounts expressly 
say that they seized upon the Castle of Beverston " but he 
gives no authority. 

The policy of Edward and his advisers, and the for- 
bearance of Godwin, led to the rapid dispersion of the army 
of the latter, and to the retirement of himself and his sons 
from England. He was pardoned and restored to his estates 
in the following year, but died immediately after his return 
to England. Sweyn was permanently outlawed, and was 
murdered by a band of Saracens on his return from a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem. By the outlawry his estates were, of 
course, confiscated to the Crown, and thus Beverston is 
entered as Crown property in Doomsday book, which was 
compiled in 1086, forty years after the three Earls had 
assembled their forces there to menace the Normanized Court 
at Gloucester. 

This entry credits Edward the Confessor and "William the 
Conqueror with ten hides of land in the parish. " In Bure- 
stane x hid" a quantity amounting to about 1200 acres. 
The present area of the parish is 2139, of which 1715 
are arable land. It is probably of the same extent as in 
ancient times, but a large quantity of waste land has since 
been enclosed which was not estimated in the acreage of the 
Manor in the Doomsday Survey. 

Beverston, however, formed only the eastern extremity of 
the great Manor, which was co-extensive with the Hundred 
of Berkeley ; and not only this portion of that extensive Manor 


but the whole of it had been forfeited to the Crown by the 
outlawry of the Earl of Gloucester. It seems originally to 
have belonged to a House of Nuns which occupied the site on 
which Berkeley Castle now stands, and it is not clear how it 
came into the possession of the Earl of Gloucester. 1 But the 
whole Manor being Crown land at the Conquest was after- 
wards granted by William I. to " Rogerus senior de Berkele." 
the representative of the ancient Lords of Dursley. 2 At his 
death, some time after A.B. 1091, the Manor descended to his 
nephew William, who was succeeded by his son Roger. 
The civil war, however, between King Stephen and the 
Empress Matilda involved both William and Roger de 
Berkeley in trouble, the father being imprisoned and the son 
deprived of his lands and of the old family Castle of Dursley. 

On the accession of Henry II. [A.D. 1154], the whole of 
the lands of Berkeley were granted by the King to Robert 
Fitzharding, from whom descended both the families of 
Berkeley, of whom the elder branch was settled at Berkeley 
Castle and the younger at Beverston Castle. 

This Robert Fitzharding was the son of a Danish prince 
who is said to have been the second son of a King of Den- 
mark, contemporary with William the Conqueror. The old 
Chronicler, Wallingford, who wrote about 1214, alleges that 
it was an ancient custom of Denmark, before the Kings became 
Christians, to send all the younger sons of the reigning 
Sovereign out of the country, so as to avoid all disputes 
about the succession to the crown : that in consequence of 

1 The character of Sweyn, and a crime attributed to him, offers 
some confirmation of the story fathered on Earl Godwin himself 
(perhaps from a much earlier tradition) hy Walter Mapes. [See 
jltkyns, Rudder, c.~\ 

2 The title " de Berkele " occurs twenty years after the Conquest, 
in 1091. The seal of Eoger at that date exhibits the figure of a 
Knight on foot, fighting with a leopard or lion which is grasping the 
Knight's shield with claws and teeth. 


this rule Harding came to England and settled at Bristol on 
lands given him hy the Conqueror in the year 1069. He-re, 
in Baldwin Street, Robert Fitzharding was horn, towards the 
end of the Conqueror's reign, that is about 1085. When he 
succeeded to his father's estate, in 1115, he removed his resi- 
dence from Baldwin Street to a large stone house which he 
built upon the Frome, but he is known to tradition as a burgess 
of Bristol and not as a noble. It is a tradition of Bristol, 
one backed by the historian Stowe, that the same street in 
which Harding resided was also the residence of Prince 
Henry, afterwards Henry II., during the years of his boy- 
hood, and that he lived there under the charge of a tutor 
named Matthews. 

"When the young Henry II. was nine years old, in the 
year 1142, Robert Fitzharding founded the Abbey of St. 
Augustine, which has been for nearly three centuries and a 
half the Cathedral of Bristol. It was consecrated on Easter 
Day, 1148, and the Founder with his wife Eva 1 were both 
buried within its walls, between the Abbot's and the Prior's 
Stalls, that is, in the middle of the western end of the Choir ; 
Fitzharding himself and his wife both dying in 1170. 2 

Robert Fitzharding had five sons and two daughters. The 
eldest of the former, Maurice, became the ancestor of the 
Berkeleys of Berkeley; the second son, Nicholas, was the 
ancestor of the Fitz-Nicholls, now represented by the Poyntz 
family ; Robert, the third son, was the ancestor of the Gour- 
nays and Ap Adams of Beverston ; Thomas, the fourth son, 

1 Eva is said to have been the niece of William the Conqueror; 
"being the daughter of "Sir Estmond" and Godiva the Conqueror's 


a Robert Fitzharding' s seal bears a curious figure of an animal 
with body and legs like a horse, occupying the whole field. The head 
is inverted between the fore feet, a very long tongue projecting 
upward and a horn downward. [See figure in Lysons' Glouc.] 


was Archdeacon of Worcester ; and Henry, the fifth son, was, 
among many other henefices, Rector of Beverston. 1 

The old Berkeleys of Dursley Castle never recovered from 
their fall, but intermarriages in some degree remedied the 
injuries which the family suffered. Roger de Berkeley had a 
daughter, Alice, who was by the persuasion of Henry II. in 
later years married to Maurice the eldest son of Fitz-Harding, 
the Manor of Dursley being at the same time restored to De 
Berkeley, from whom it was inherited by his son Robert, who 
married a daughter of Fitz-Harding, and whose descendants 
held it until 1567. On the death of Robert Fitz-Harding, 
his son Maurice took the name of Berkeley, the great Castle 
of Berkeley having in the meanwhile been built by Henry II. 
(as a substitute for that of Dursley) on the site of the ancient 
Nunnery of Berkeley. 

At the death of Robert Fitzharding, however, in the year 
1170 that large portion of the great Manor and Hundred of 
Berkeley which lay round Beverston Castle, and which was 
probably held long before as a separate Manor, was entailed 
upon Robert, his third son ; together with the Manors of 
Kingsweston, Aylberton, Over, Radewyke, and Northwicke ; 
and also those of Berewe, Ingliscombe, and Weare, in the 
County of Somerset. From the last of these, which lay to 
the south of the Mendip Hills, near the town of Axbridge, 

1 Seven hundred years afterwards, the author became Rector of 
Beverston, whose family derive their origin to be modest as to 
dates from Gormo I., who was King of Denmark in A.I). 699. 
Gormo is reputed to be a descendant of Dan who founded the monarchy 
of Denmark about B.C. 1038, when David was King of Israel. But 
Sir Alexander Croke the historian of the Blunts, allows that "there is 
an unfortunate chasm " between the years of our Lord 401 and 699, 
so the present writer will not go beyond King Gormo, and con- 
tents himself with noticing the odd coincidence that two rectors of 
this little parish at an interval of seven centuries should each claim 
descent from the old royal house of Denmark. [See Croke' s Genealog. 
Hist, of Le Blounts. vol. i. p. 17.] 


this first Lord of Beverston, as an independent property, 
took the name of Robert de Weare. 1 His wife was Alice de 
Gaunt, great great grandaughter of the Conqueror's sister 
Maud, and daughter of Robert de Gaunt and his wife. Alice 
Paganell or Pownall. 2 The husband and the wife were each 
of them, consequently, descended from a daughter of the house 
of Rollo. 

Robert de "Weare is the first, therefore, of the Lords of the 
Manor of Beverston to whom it can be distinctly traced ; and 
he may be regarded as the founder, in 1170, of the family 
to which it afterwards belonged until the year 1331, when it 
was brought back by purchase into the elder branch of the 
Fitzharding Berkeleys. The estate thus founded was very 
large, and Robert is said to have lived in great splendour, 
attended by many knights and other retainers of good family, 
keeping up a baronial grandeur and magnificence similar 
to that of his elder brother the Baron of Berkeley. As his 
father had founded the Priory of St. Augustine at Bristol, 
so, on the opposite side of the Green, the Lord of Beverston 
founded the Hospital of St. Mark at Billeswick, for 100 
poor men, otherwise known afterwards as the Hospital of 
St. Augustine, from the Augustinian Canons by whom it 
was partly occupied and its services maintained. 3 De Weare 
died before much progress had been made with his founda- 
tion, and it was completed by his heirs. But he was 
probably buried in its Chapel, and one of the cross-legged 
knights in stone who still lie in "the Mayor's Chapel," as 
it is now called, may be his memorial. 

Robert de "Weare left a son named Maurice, and a daughter 
who bore her grandmother's name of Eva. Maurice assumed 
the name De Gaunt from his mother 4 and married Matilda, 

3 A long account of Gaunt' s Hospital is to be found in Barretfs 
History of Bristol, pp. 354-379. It was the foundation on which the 
famous Colston charities were built up. 

4 The Manor from which this name was taken seems to have been 
that of Gaunts, near Wimborne, in Dorsetshire. 



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the daughter and heiress of Henry D'Oilly, of Hookneston, 
in Yorkshire. She was a ward of the Crown, and permission 
to marry was only obtainable on condition that her husband 
should bring twenty knights to the king in time of war. 
Maurice de Gaunt was, however, one of the Barons who so 
long and so bitterly opposed King John; and who, in the 
selfish support of their order brought the King and the 
country to ruin. His estates were confiscated and granted 
to Philip d'AIbini in the year 1215; and he so entirely 
forsook the national side in this quarrel that even after the 
death of King John he fought under the standard of Louis 
the French King (to whom the Pope had pretended to give 
the Crown of England), against the young King Henry III. 
At the battle of May 20th, 1217, which was afterwards 
named "The Pair of Lincoln," when the French army was 
gloriously defeated, Maurice de Gaunt was taken prisoner 
by the Earl of Chester, and it was only after a year's 
imprisonment that he was ransomed at the price of two 
of his wife's Yorkshire manors, those of Leeds and Bingley. 
When the kingdom was once more secure his lands were 
restored to him, but so much suspicion of disloyalty hung 
about him that when fresh troubles arose between the Crown 
and the Barons about the custody of the Castles he was 
again in danger of confiscation. Maurice appears at this 
time, A.D. 1225, to have been rebuilding the Castle of 
Beverston, and it was alleged that he was doing so without 
license from the Crown. On giving satisfaction to the king 
his estates were, however, confirmed to him by a deed dated 
two years later, in the llth year of Henry III. The lower 
parts of the Castle are all of this date, massive Norman 
piers and groining still remaining in a perfect condition, 
with external walls many feet in thickness. 

About this time the lately founded Dominican Order, the 
Black Friars, or Preaching Friars, were rapidly establishing 
themselves in the principal towns of England, and Maurice 


de Gaunt who had carried on to completion the foundation 
established by his father at Billeswick, in Bristol, now 
engaged in a similar great work on his own account, the 
foundation of a Monastery for the Dominicans in the same 
city. This building was erected on the Weir, northward 
of the Castle, and a portion of the quadrangle (though of 
later date) still stands to mark the spot, part (perhaps of 
the original erection) being known as the "Bakers' Hall," 
and part being occupied as a Quakers' School. The Founder 
died, while following Henry III. on his unsuccessful expe- 
dition to France, on April 30th, 1230, and was buried 
(according to the Annals of Tewkesbury) in the Chapel of 
the Monastery : l but not a vestige of the Chapel remains, 
the site being occupied by a Quakers' Meeting House. 
Although apparently twice married he left no children 
behind him, and his Manors of Weston, Northwicke, Over, 
Albricton, Radwicke, and Beverston, were devised by him to 
his nephew, the three hundreds of Portbury, Bedminster, and 
Harclive being left to Thomas, Lord Berkeley, his distant 

The nephew was Robert, son of Eva, the only sister of 
Maurice, who died long before her brother, about the year 
1216, at the end of King John's reign. She had married 

1 In the Itinerary of William of Worcester there are some extracts 
from the Martiloge of this Priory. They seem to be in confusion as to 
date, as Robert de Gournay and Anselm de Gournay who both died in 
the 13th century are entered between deaths which are dated 1422 and 
1429. Immediately following the entry which is dated 1422 there is 
the entry, " Dominus Mauricius de Berkle, et domina Johanna uxor 
ejus . . . jacet in choro in sinistra altaris, die primo octobris." \Itin. 
W. de Wore. ed. Nasmyth. p. 233.] This may refer to Maurice de 
Gaunt and his second wife, yet it is improbable that he should have 
been called de Berkeley, the Beverston descendants of Robert Fitz- 
harding having no reason for assuming that name. 


Thomas de Harp tree, 1 by whom she had two sons, Robert 
and Hugh, the former of whom took the name of De 
Gournay, and the latter of De Gaunt. Robert De Gournay 
seems to have died very shortly after his succession to his 
uncle's estates, in the same year 1230, if indeed he lived to 
inherit them. Possibly they passed to the Crown as guardian 
of his son Anselm, a minor The Martiloge of the Dominican 
Friars has an entry which seems to shew that he died abroad : 
" Cor domini Roberti de Gornay jacet in ista ecclesia, qui 
obiit die 20 novembris." His widow, Avice de Longchamp, 
died in 1268. 

Anselm de Gournay has left as little record behind him. 
as his father. The Register of Gloucester Abbey shews 
that he gave to St. Peter's a small gift of land and the 
advowson of Beverston Rectory. " Anselmus de Gorney 
dedit Deo et Sancto Petro Gloucestrie quinque solidatas" 

1 Of Harptree and Barew Gournay in Somersetshire. Some of 
their Manors were held by the Berkeleys of Beverston as late as 1417. 
[Hutch. Dorset, iij. 346.] 

Descent of the G-OURNAYS and AP ADAMS. 
[See also p. 105. n. 1.] 

Robert Fitzharding=Eva 

| [See p. 106. n. 2.] 

Robert de Weare=Alice de Gaunt 

Marg. de Somery Maurice de Gaunt Eva=Thomas de Harptree 

d. a. p. 1223. d. s. p. 1230. _ j _ 

_ _ 

Robert de Gournay = Avice de Longchamp Hugh 
d. 1230. | d. 1268. 

Anselm de Gournay = Sybil 
1286. | 

John de Gournay =Oliva 
1248-1291. I 

John de Gournay Elizabeth de Gournay = John Ap Adam 
d. early. | d. 1312. 


Thomas Ap Adam = Margaret 

[Sold Beverston in 1331.] 


[_1J acre] "terrae in Beverstone, cum advocatione ecclesige 
ejusclem villa?, tempore Johannis Gamages abbatis." [Hist. 
Man. S. Patri Glouc. i. 65. Record Off. tW.] The grant 
of land was disputed by his son, but confirmed by Edward I. 
in the year 1287. [Ibid. iii. 20.] The advowson of the 
Rectory remained with the Monastery until the latter was 
merged in the Bishopric, when it went to the Crown, which 
has ever since presented to the living. 

Contemporary with Anselm at Beverston was Maurice the 
fifth Lord at Berkeley. It is recorded that Lord Maurice 
was sixteen times in the field at the head of his followers 
and that he had the luxury of forty law suits. 1 He seems 
to have waged legal war for a long time with his Beverston 
cousin on the subject of weights and measures. The Grand 
Jury presented his Lordship for, among other social mis- 
doings, distraining " Anselm de Gournay on the King's 
highway, and in Manors held in capite, because the latter 
would not take his measures of assize from his standard, 
whereas he ought to receive them from the King's Marshal." 
But in the year 1256 the King, Henry III., paid a visit to 
Berkeley Castle on his return from spending four days with 
the Prince Edward at Bristol: and on this occasion he 
pardoned Lord Berkeley " and his tenants their breaches of 
assize in merchandize and measure belonging to the King 
as supreme Clerk of the Market," and so probably the feud 
ended. Anselm' s grandson obtained the grant of a market 
for Beverston from the Crown, a fact which suggests that 
Berkeley had exercised an authority over Beverston to which 
the inhabitants of the latter objected. Perhaps a relic of 

1 " This Lord, with a milk-white head in this irksome old age of 
seventy years, in winter termes and frosty seasons, with a buckrame 
bagge stuffed with lawe cases, in early mornings and late evenings, 
walked with his eldest sonne betweene the fower Innes of Court and 
Westminster Hall, following his lawe-suites in his owne old person, 
not for himself, but for his posterity " \_Smy th~\. His pugnacity was 
not without excuse, for he was endeavouring to recover what his 
brother the Marquess had squandered away. 


the grievance still exists in the custom which requires the 
Constable of Beverston to go on his knees in the Court Leet 
of Berkeley and in that posture take his corporal oath that 
he will seek the welfare and prosperity of the Lord of the 
Manor and Hundred of Berkeley : a ceremony performed 
amidst much laughter and not without reluctance on the part 
of Beverston. 

Anselm de Gournay died in November 1286, and was 
buried in the Dominican Priory, the Martiloge recording 
" Dominus Ancelinus de Gurnay, qui jacet in choro, die 15 
novembris." Of his wife nothing more is known than that 
her name was Sybil. 

John de Gournay, son of Anselm and Sybil, was born in 
the year 1248, and lived to possess the estates after his father 
only five years. He married Oliva, daughter of Henry, Lord 
Lovel of Castle Carey, by whom he had a son, John, and a 
daughter, Elizabeth. The son died early, and thus on the 
death of her father in the year 1291, the lands passed once 
more to the female side. In the same year that she inherited 
this great property Elizabeth de Gournay was married to 
John, Lord Ap Adam of Gorste and Battesley within Tiden- 
ham, two. Gloucestershire estates being thus united. 1 

Lord Ap Adam put an end to the disputes with Berkeley 
respecting market rights by obtaining a charter for a market 
to be held in Beverston on Mondays. The rich barons of the 
Middle Ages attracted so large a number of retainers and 
followers around them that it was not uncommon for them to 
obtain such a privilege. But it is plain that there must at 
this time have been a considerable number of inhabitants, or 
a market could not have been maintained. At the same time 
the privilege was granted of holding an annual fair on the 
Eve, Feast, and Morrow, of the Assumption, that is on 
August 14th, 15th, and 16th; and the continuance of a fair 
for three days is also evidence that Beverston was much more 

1 " Thomas de Avening persona eccl. de Beverstan," 1292. [Prynne's 
Records, in. 592.] 


than a road side village in those distant days. Lord Ap 
Adam and his wife appear to have lived without children for 
many years,- hut a son, Thomas, was born to them in the 
year 1304. He himself died in 1312, and if his wife sur- 
vived him it was hut for a short time. He sat in the House 
of Lords by summons from 1296 to 1309. 

Thomas Lord Ap Adam, his young son, thus came to his 
inheritance at eight years of age. He was either very unfor- 
tunate or very improvident, for his great estates began to 
pass away from him as soon as he had reached the age when 
they would be under his control. Before he had attained 
his twenty-sixth year Beverston was almost his only manor. 
~NoT could his domestic relations within the bounds of his 
narrowed property have been felicitous, for it is recorded that 
he had a wife named Margaret, and that in 1332 he found it 
necessary to bring a suit in Chancery against Thomas, son 
and heir of Hugh de Gournay, for stealing the lady away 
from Beverston, together with divers goods and chattels. 
About the same time that he thus lost his lady Sir Thomas 
Ap Adam also lost the last of his patrimonial Manors, for he 
sold Beverston to Thomas, eighth Baron Berkeley ; having 
thus wrecked a noble inheritance before he had reached the 
thirtieth year of his age, and being forced to retire to a small 
estate which yet remained to him in Monmouthshire. 1 

1 The descendants of Sir Thomas, last Baron Ap Adam (whether 
by the runaway wife or another is not stated) are said to be as 
follows : [Burke' s Ext. Peer. ; and Record of House of Gurney.'] 
Thomas Ap Adam= 

Robert Hamund John a daughter =Thomlyn 

d. B. p. d. s. p. d. s. p. | Huntley 

| ~ ApPhilpot 

John Huntley Ap Thomlyn= Johanna 
succeeded to Robert's I 
estate at Tidenham. | 

Margaret = Edmund Ap Gwylym Mary = Thomas Parker 

Ap Hopkyn | of Monmouthshire, 

from whom the Powells 

of Llanllowel, 
near Uske, Monm. 


By this sale of Beverston Castle and Manor they became 
again merged, for a few years, in the vast estate of the 
Berkeleys of Berkeley. This change also brought back to 
Beverston the blood of the old Saxon Berkeleys of Dursley, 
for Lord Berkeley was descended from them on the female 
side as well as from the Fitzhardings on the paternal side. 
Since Robert Fitzharding's time, hitherto, Beverston had been 
in the possession of those of his descendants who were not 
inheritors of the old Berkeley blood. The mixed line of 
Fitzharding and Berkeley was now represented, there for 265 
years, from the beginning of the reign of Edward the Third 
until nearly the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 

Few traces remain of the earlier owners of Beverston, or 
their time. The substructures of the Castle "have already 
been mentioned as being probably the work of Maurice de 
Gaunt in the early half of the twelfth century. The arcade 
of transitional Norman pillars which divides the Nave of the 
Church from the aisle, the doorway under the Porch, and a 
figure of our Lord with the resurrection banner in his hand, 
which has been inserted into the south wall of the Tower, 
are also of the same age. Of a rather later date are some 
stone coffin covers, incised with crosses, which have been 
built up (probably in the fourteenth century) into the south 
wall .of the Nave, and the west wall of the Berkeley Chapel. 
The base of a circular tower of solid rubble masonry, 24 feet 
in diameter, was also discovered in 1873 in the Rectory 
Kitchen Garden, opposite to the west face of the great Tower 
of the Castle, and 37 yards distant from it. This seems to be 
a relic of the more ancient Castle, and shews that at some 
time the buildings extended much further than they do at 
present. Some large chamfered stones were also found under 
the Rectory lawn, and their position seemed to indicate the 
presence of a gate of a similar age. 1 

1 The present Rectory has upon it the date 1729, and a much older 
house which was called the Rectory used formerly forty or fifty 
years ago to stand nearly where the School-house now stands. 


Thomas, eighth Lord Berkeley, and third of the name of 
Thomas, was directly descended from Maurice the son of 
Robert Fitzhardinge, and Alice the daughter of the last 
Berkeley Lord of Dursley, being thus the representative of 
the elder branch of the Fitzhardings and also of the ancient 
Berkeley s. 1 

All the Berkeley s had, at this time, joined the party of 
the Queen and Mortimer against Edward II. Maurice, the 
seventh Lord Berkeley, had been taken prisoner by the King's 
army, and died a prisoner in Wallingford Castle, in the year 
1326. His son and successor, Thomas, the purchaser of 
Beverston, had also been imprisoned by the King at Berk- 
hampstead, in the Tower, and at Pevensey Castle, for five 
years before his father's death ; but the latter event occuring 
about the same time that the Queen's power had reached its 
ascendant, he and other rebels of distinction had been released 
and restored to their estates. On the capture of the King the 
unfortunate Sovereign was committed to the custody of Lord 
Berkeley, Sir Thomas de Gournay, and Sir John Maltravers ; 

1 Descent of LORD BERKELEY. 
Robert Fitzharding Roger de Berkeley 

Maurice = Alice 


d. s. p. 

Thomas = Joan 

1 1 1 

Maurice = Isabel 
d. 1281. | 

Thomas = Joan 

Maurice = Eva 
d. 1326. | 

Margaret = Thomas = Katharine 

i d. 1361. | 

from whom from whom 
the Berkeleys the Berkeleys 
of Berkeley, of Beverston. 


and after having been imprisoned for some time at Kenilworth 
and Corfe Castles, he was brought to Berkeley Castle on April 
15th, 1327. Lord Berkeley's treatment of his prisoner not 
being sufficiently severe for the purpose which the wretched 
Queen and her paramour Mortimer had in view, he was re- 
lieved of his office of gaoler, and then retired to his house at 
"Wotton-under-Edge, where he was residing, or is said to 
have been so, at the time of Edward llnd's barbarous mur- 
der, on September 21st, 1327. In the reign of Edward III. 
Lord Berkeley was put upon his trial for the King's murder, 
and he was not finally acquitted until 1338. 

Meanwhile he was improving his estates, farming on a 
very large scale, 1 making enclosures, buying and exchanging 
lands. He was also a great fox hunter, remaining out four 
nights and days together hunting foxes with nets and dogs. 

Among his purchases of land were Lord Ap Adam's 
Manors of Over 2 and Beverston, the latter in 1331. The 

1 It is noticed of him that he used to frequent the fairs at Gloucester 
and Tetbury, buying seeds for his farms and transacting the ordinary 
business of a large farmer. In 1334 he sheared 5775 sheep in Bever- 
ston for the Stroudwater woollen manufactories ; and he reared vast 
numbers of pigeons, part of one of his great pigeon houses still stand- 
ing near the Barbican of the Castle. 

z Over had been in the possession of the Gournays and Ap Adams 
as long as Beverston, and was purchased by Lord Berkeley in 1330 in 
the name of himself and his wife Margaret. In 1361 it was in the 
possession of his widow Catharine, but it went regularly with the 
Beverston estate until Sir William Berkeley was attainted in the first 
Parliament of Richard III., 1483. It was then granted to Thomas 
Brian by whom it was conveyed to John Poyntz. His son, Robert, 
had a daughter Alice who married Sir Edward Berkeley, and thus 
carried Over back again. 

John Poyntz = 

| I 

Alice = Sir Edward Berkeley 

The last of the Berkeleys of Beverston sold Over to John Daniel of 


reign of Edward III. was an age of building, and among 
other work of his very active life Lord Berkeley rebuilt the 
Castle and the Church of Beverston, not destroying, however, 
the whole of the work of his predecessors in either building. 
Leland, writing about two centuries afterwards, says that he 
had been told by " olde Sir William " (who was the great 
great grandson of Lord Berkeley), that this rebuilding of the 
Castle was paid for by means of the ransoms which his 
ancestor obtained for the prisoners taken by him at the battle 
of Poic tiers, which took place in 1356. 1 This story is -not 
quite consistent with the fact that his eldest son, Maurice, 
being taken prisoner at Poictiers remained a prisoner in France 
until his father's death in 1361, because the 6000 nobles re- 
quired for his ransom could not be raised. 2 But no doubt the 
greater part of the existing fabrics, both of the Church and 
Castle, are of the date thus assigned to them. Bigland says 
that in his time the arms of Lord Berkeley were to be seen in 
the East Window of the Chancel. The walls of the Church 
were also decorated with paintings of the Resurrection and 
Last Judgment, the Mass of St. Gregory, and St. Christopher, 
which were discovered and destroyed at the " restoration " of 
the fabric, when the interior face of the walls was entirely 
covered with a thick coating of Roman Cement. 

The reconstruction of the Castle by Lord Berkeley left it 
a fine quadrangular structure, with so tradition states 
four Towers (though only two now remain) a Barbican, a 
large Banqueting Hall on the site now occupied by the 
dwelling house of the Castle Farm, and a Moat immediately 
under the walls of the Towers and Curtains. Perhaps also 

1 Leland's Itin. yj. 68. Leland tells a precisely similar story re- 
specting Farley Castle, Somersetshire, which, he says, was built " by 
the prey of the Duke of Orleans, whom one of the Hungerfords had 
taken prisoner." [Itin. ij. 32, 33.] 

1 Cooke's Berkekys, p. 24. 


the circular Tower discovered in the Rectory Kitchen Garden 
was one of several by which an enclosing wall was guarded 
which would take in many external buildings, such as the 
barns, of which two still existing are handsome specimens 
of fourteenth century work. The western face of this 
Edwardian Castle still remains, consisting of a large square 
tower 34 ft. by 30 ft., at the southern end, a smaller one 
24 ft. square set angularly at the northern end, and a curtain 
between them containing roomy galleries, the whole side 
extending to 123 feet. The distance from the outside of this 
face to the outside of the Barbican is 1 65 feet ; the whole 
area of the Castle within the Moat may thus be reckoned at 
2255 square yards, and the court yard must have been of 
small dimensions. 

The great tower at the southern end of the west side con- 
sists of three storeys, and is 60 feet in height. The lower 
storey formed an entry and a guard room, the latter being 
lighted by a beautiful ogee headed window which remains 
extremely perfect, as may be seen from the bank of the Moat. 
The ascent from the entry is by a newell staircase in an 
octagonal turret, which seems to have been added on to the 
main tower in a very insecure manner. The large chamber 
above the guard room and entry was probably appropriated 
originally to domestic use, but turned into a Chapel early in 
the fifteenth century ; two sedilia and a piscina having been 
added, which are elaborately carved in a shallow and rather 
debased style of art. Another large chamber occupies the 
tower above this, forming the third storey : and northward of 
this is the more ancient Chapel, which is situated in the 
curtain, and beyond which is another chamber nearly as 
large as that in the tower. There are double slits or squints 
on both sides of this Chapel, so that although it is not large 
enough to hold a dozen persons more than a hundred could 
be accommodated in the chambers on either side, most of 


whom could obtain a view of the altar through these squints, 
and aU could distinctly hear the service which was going on 


fa - - m 

Great Tower I Screen Curtain 

Squints [ Chapel | Squints 

The only trace of the Great Hall is the mark of the 
weather tahle on the inner wall of the Curtain adjoining the 
great Tower. Below this is the roof of the present dwelling- 
house, which was built at the end of the seventeenth century. 
There is reason to think that the dwelling-house which pre- 
ceded this, and which was burned down, was the Great Hall 
itself divided by floors and partitions. Half of the great 
Dormitory Hall at Durham was in a similar way occupied as 
a Canon's residence for several* generations, and until 20 
years ago, when the whole was added to the Library. 

A noble gallery which, with the narrow passage between 
its western wall and the exterior wall of the Castle, occupied 
the second storey of the curtain is now roughly divided and 
used as store rooms for farm produce. A handsome stone 
chimney piece of 18th century workmanship shews how 
recently it was used. Beneath it on the level of the court- 
yard are vaulted offices, which are now used as dairy and 
brewhouse. Lower still is the only underground portion of 


the Castle, a gloomy "dungeon" -which lies immediately 
under the west end of the upper Chapel. This vault, what- 
ever its use may really have been, is entered by a door near 
the guard room. 

The northern or angular Tower has nothing remaining of 
its interior divisions except the vaulting of the floor chamber 
which is used as a coal cellar. Above this vaulting the tower 
is gutted to the roof, which itself is modern. If there was 
ever a curtain on this northern side of the Castle not a trace 
of it remains, nor is there any of the other two towers which 
are said to have completed the square of the fortress. Such 
as they are, however, the remains of Beverston Castle are 
a noble memorial of the great Castle building age of the 
Edwards ; and they shew that Lord Berkeley was a man of 
large resources and liberal taste. 

Lord Berkeley was twice married; first to Margaret, 
daughter of Roger, Lord Mortimer, and mother of the ninth 
Lord Berkeley. She died in 1337, and was buried in a 
Chantry founded for the purpose in St. Augustine's Abbey, 
Bristol, and which is now k'nown as the Berkeley Chapel, 
in the Cathedral Ten years afterwards, in 1347, Lord 
Berkeley married for his second wife Catharine, daughter of 
Sir John Clyvedon, and widow of Sir Peter le Veel. Of 
four sons by the first wife, only one, Maurice, survived his 
father : and of four sons by his second wife only the 
youngest, John. Maurice became Lord Berkeley in suc- 
cession to his father, while John was settled down in a 
younger son's inheritance at Beverston, becoming to a race 
of Berkeleys there what Robert de Weare had been to the 
Fitzharding branches represented by the De Gaunts, De 
Gournays, and Ap Adams The father of both these Berke- 
leys, who may be fairly called the great Lord Berkeley, died 
on October 27th, 1361, and lies buried in the Parish Church 
at Berkeley. His widow acted as guardian to her son and 


manager of his Beverston Manor during his minority. She 
afterwards married a third husband, Sir John de Thorp, and 
seems to have survived him also, for dying at Wotton-under- 
Edge in 1385, she was carried to Berkeley and buried there 
by the side of her second husband, Lord Berkeley. 

The young son of Lord Berkeley, therefore, afterwards Sir 
John Berkeley, inherited the Beverston estate as once more 
independent of the Berkeley estate, and the two have never 
again been united. He was born on January 21st, 1352, and 
was baptized on the second day after his birth, the Prior of 
Bath and Sir John Tracy being his godfathers, while the Lady 
Joan, wife of Sir Thomas le Boteler was his godmother. He 
was thus under ten years of age at his father's death. During 
the lifetime of his mother he remained unmarried, but after 
her death, when he was about thirty- three years of age he 
found a wife of seventeen in the daughter and heiress of Sir 
John Bettisthorne, of Bettisthorne or Bistherne, in the parish 
of Bingwood, Hants, on the south-western edge of the Xew 
Forest. By this marriage the large property of the Berkeleys 
of Beverston became still larger, and it is said to have then 
exceeded in extent that of the elder branch. Sir John 
Bettesthorne, 1 of Bettesthorne, Chadwick, and Gillingham, 

1 His wife is called Lady Goda by Smyth. He was knighted in the 
y ear 1386, when he must have been over fifty years of age. The 
brass on his tomb at Mere is engraved in Hoare's Wilts/lire, Mere, 
pi. III. 12; and in BoutelFs Brasses; as also in Kite, p. 22. The 
Bettesthornes are not traceable beyond John, the father [d. 1380] of 
Sir John ; who came in for large estates at Shaftesbury and elsewhere 
through failure in the male line of the De Grimstead family. In 1404 
Sir John Berkeley claimed in right of his wife the Manors of Plait- 
ford, Alberstone, More, Alwardbury, Farley, the moiety of East and 
West Grimstead, and the advowson of the Church of More. At the 
same time he also held the Crown Moiety of the Manor of Shaftes- 
bury, the other being held by the Abbess. [Hoards Wilts., Frustjield, 
49., Hutchinson's Dorset., ij. 400.] Sir Maurice his son held the same 
Manors at his death in 1460. In 1641 and until 1650 " Sir Edward 
Berkeley's land called Benjafield " in the parish of Gillingham was 
sequestered. This seems to have been Sir Edward of Pille. 


died on February 1st, 1399, and was buried on February 6th, 
at Mere in a Chantry Chapel belonging to his estate of 
Chadwick, afterwards known till the Dissolution as the 
Berkeley Chantry. The jurors on the inquisitio post mortem 
found that Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Berkeley of Beverston 
was his daughter and nearest heir, and was then aged thirty 
years or more. She thus brought Bistherne and all the other 
manors belonging to her father to her husband, and Sir John 
Berkeley did homage for these lands as hers in 1389 \_Esch. 
22, Rich. II., Ko. 6. Hot, Fin. ib m. 11]. It is curious 
that among the waste land in the Manor of Bistherne there is- 
a portion named " Berkele," although there does not appear 
to have been any connection between the families previously. 

Sir John Berkeley occupied an important position both in 
Hampshire and Gloucestershire, and also in Wiltshire. He 
was at one time or another returned to Parliament for each 
of these counties, and was also Sheriff for one or other of 
them no less than nine times. For his native County he was 
Sheriff in the years 1393, 1398, and 1413. In 1396 he 
received a general pardon for having joined the rebellion of 
the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Arundel. 

By Lady Elizabeth of Bettesthorne Sir John Berkeley had 
a son named Maurice and a daughter named Anne. 1 Their 

1 This daughter Anne is named in a grant of livery of his lands to 
Sir William Berkeley by Henry VIII., dated August 21st, 1522. Sir 
William is there said to be " kinsman and heir of John Berkeley and 
his daughter Anne." Another daughter was Eleanor, whose first 
husband was John Fitz-Alan, Lord Maltravers [d. 1423]. They had 
a son who was created Lord Arundel of Wardour (and was nominally 
12th Earl of Arundel) and Eleanor received the courtesy title of 
Countess Dowager of Arundel. Her third husband was Sir Walter 
Hungerford of Heytesbury, by whom she had no children. [ Hoare's 
Wilts., Heytsb. 91, 221.] Hoare calls her daughter and co-heir of 
Sir John Berkeley. She married for a second husband Sir Richard 
Poynyngs. A third daughter, Elizabeth, was married first to Edward 


mother appears to have died early, as Sir John married for a 
second wife Elinor, daughter of Sir Kobert de Ashton, and 
for a third Margaret, widow of Sir Thomas Braose of Tetbury. 
Smyth says that he had fourteen sons and two daughters, 
"but it does not appear that any more survived him than 
Maurice and Anne. He died in the year 1427, his last wife 
surviving him until 1444. 

Sir Maurice Berkeley, the son and successor of Sir John, 
was knighted during his father's lifetime, and at the death 
of the latter was about thirty years of age. He married 
Laura the fourth daughter of Henry, third Lord Fitzhugh, 
and of Alice Neville, and sister to Robert Fitzhugh who was 
Bishop of London from 1431 until 1436. The mother of 
Lady Berkeley was daughter to the great Earl of Salisbury 
who was taken prisoner and beheaded at the battle of Wake- 
field, and sister to the still greater Earl of "Warwick the 
" King-maker," the last of those wealthy and powerful 
Norman nobles whose arrogance sometimes aimed at enslaving 
the Crown itself. Her father, Lord Fitzhugh, appears in 
history under a gentler aspect. He held high office at court 
in the reigns of Henry IV. and Henry V., was entrusted with 
the care of Princess Philippa when she was sent to Denmark 
to become the wife of Eric XIII. of Sweden and VII. of 
Denmark, under whom the three Scandinavian Crowns were 
united ; and was Constable of England during the Coronation 
of Henry V. While in Denmark and Sweden in the year 

Charlton, Lord Fowls, and secondly to John Sutton, K.G., 4th Lord 
Dudley. Their grandson was the Edmund Dudley, executed with 
Empson by Henry "VlLL. : their great grandson, the Duke of North- 
umberland who acted as Regent in the minority of Edward VI. ; their 
great great grandson the Lord Guildford Dudley who was the husband 
of Lady Jane Grey. The arms of Dudley and Berkeley of Beverston 
were formerly in a window of the Church of Deritend, a suburb of 
Birmingham. [Dugdale's Warw. 882.] 


1406) Fitzhugh became acquainted with some Nuns of the 
Order founded not long before by a noble Swedish lady since 
known as St. Bridget, and on his return to England he made 
arrangements for carrying out an engagement he had entered 
into with them, to establish a branch of their Order in Eng- 
land, on his property at Hinton near Cambridge. 1 Eventually, 
however, they were established as one of the two latest 
Monasteries founded in England, those which Henry V. set 
up in 1415 in memory of his father at Sheen (now Richmond) 
and Isleworth. The latter, the Brigittine establishment, was 
the famous Nunnery of Sion, which was transferred after the 
Reformation to Portugal and still maintains itself as a com- 
munity of English ladies ; the name of the old Nunnery being 
retained for the Duke of Northumberland's house which 
stands upon its site Sion was endowed with many of the- 
manors belonging to the Alien Priories, which were dissolved 
by Henry V. at the beginning of that war which ended at 
Agincourt : and among these were Avening, Nailsworth, 
Minchinhampton, and others near Beverston ; together with 
Cheltenham, which was held of the Nuns of Sion on lease by 
Sir Maurice Berkeley the son of Laura Fitzhugh in 1464. 2 

Succeeding his father Sir John in 1427 Sir Maurice 
Berkeley became Sheriff of Gloucestershire in the years 1429, 
1434, and 1435. He and his wife Laura had two sons,. 

1 The Manor of Hinton eventually passed into the hands of Mow- 
bray the first Duke of Norfolk. His daughter Isabel inherited it with 
many other Manors as her moiety of her father's lands. From her it 
passed to her son, the Marquess of Berkeley, and it was sold by 
Thomas Lord Berkeley, early in the reign of Henry VIII., to Eobert 
Fewrother, Goldsmith (and Usurer) of London, for 800 marks, being 
then stated to be worth 32 a year. [Smyth.~\ 

2 For fuller particulars respecting Sion see the present writer's 
Introduction to his edition of " Oure Ladye's Myroure," a devotional 
work written for the Nuns of Sion about 1450 : and now printed 
among the Early English Text Society's Works. 


Maurice and Edward, both of whom survived him, and both 
of whom eventually succeeded to the great estates left by 
their grandfather Sir John in Gloucestershire, Hampshire, 
-and Wiltshire. 

Sir Maurice Berkeley resided much at Bistherne, which 
was probably a much pleasanter abode than his grim Castle 
on the bleak Cotteswolds. 1 A singular tradition still lingers 
at Bistherne respecting the slaughter of a Dragon, which is 
connected with the name of this Sir Maurice by a document 
preserved in the Evidence room at Berkeley Castle. The 
local tradition is to the effect that a Dragon had his den at 
Burley Beacon, about five miles from Bistherne, in a part of 
Burley known as Bistherne Closes. Thence the creature 
" flew " every morning to Bistherne for a supply of milk. 
Here a valiant man built himself a hut, and with two dogs 
lay in wait for the Dragon, keeping the dogs out of his sight 
also. The innocent creature came as usual one morning for 
his milk, when the hut door was opened, the dogs let fly at 
him, and while he was thus engaged with them, he was 
4t shot " by the man. The dogs were killed on the spot, 
apparently under the idea that they had become dangerous 
through being bitten by the Dragon. 2 The Dragon slayer him- 
self, says another version of the tradition (which seems to 

1 In 1455 " Mauricius Berkeley Miles " is one of the Commissioners 
for Southamptonshire for raising money for the defence of Calais. 
[Acts of Privy Council, vj. 240.] 

On Ap. 16, year uncertain, " Mauricius Berkeley de Beverstone 
Miles " is summoned as a Privy Councillor for May 21st. [Ibid. 341.] 

2 One of Lord Durham's ancestors slew a " Worm of Lambton," 
and was directed beforehand by a wise woman to cover his armour 
with knife blades. He also slew his favourite hound immediately 
afterwards, though the legend does not represent the latter as taking 
any part in the encounter. 

A great serpent is also heard of in the parish of Coberley in Glouces- 
tershire, a parish in which a younger branch of the old Saxon 
JBerkeleys had their home until the fifteenth century. 


come from nearer the fifteenth century), only succeeded in 
overcoming his foe by covering his armour with glass. The 
locality of the fight still goes by the name of " Dragon 

The documentary version of this tradition is contained in 
the margin of a pedigree roll written previously to 1618, and 
preserved, as already said, in the Evidence room at Berkeley 
Castle. It is as follows : 

" S? Moris Barkley the sonne of Sr John Barkley, of 
Beverston, beinge a man of great strength and courage, in his 
tyme there was bread in Hampshire neere Bistherne a devour- 
ing Dragon, who doing much mischief upon men and cattell 
and could not be 'destroyed but spoiled many in attempting 
it, making his den neere unto a Beacon. This Sr Moris 
Barkley armed himself and encountered with it and at length 
overcam and killed it but died himself soone after. This is 
the common saying even to this day in those parts of Hamp- 
shire, and the better to approve the same his children and 
posterity even to this present do beare for their creast a 
Dragon standing before a burning beacon. "Wch seemeth the 
rather more credible because S? Morice Barkley did beare the 
Miter with this authentick scale of his armes as is heare 
underneath one of his own deedes exprest bearing date y e 10 
of Henry 6. An Dni 1431." 

This singular legend, the latest of the kind perhaps, is not 
without archaBological memorial. It has already been men- 
tioned that the " Dragon Fields " are still pointed out as the 
scene of the encounter. The village Inn of Bistherne 
(suppressed in 1873), likewise rejoiced in the sign of the 
" Green Dragon," green being the colour assigned to the 
dragon of the crest in a MS. at Berkeley on which the later 
bearing of Berkeley of Beverston is pourtrayed. The Beacon 
and Dragon both occur in a carving which remains on the 
front of Bistherne House, above the arms of Berkeley and 


Bettisthorne, and with the date 1652. But a much older, 
and almost contemporary memorial of the Crest is preserved 
in the East Window of the adjoining Church of Sopley, 
between Ringwood and Christ Church, where there are two 
fragments of stained glass, the one containing the arms of 
Sir Edward Berkeley, the younger son of this Sir Maurice, 
and the other a representation of a burning Beacon, with 
the motto "So have I cause." The motto without the 
beacon is carved on a stone at Avon, in Sopley parish, the 
stone being built into a smithy which represents that at 
which Sir Walter Tyrrell shot his horse during his flight 
from the New Forest after shooting William Rufus. Both 
Beacon and motto appear also on a brass of a kneeling knight 
and lady which is said to have been brought from Netley 
Abbey to Romsey Abbey, and to be of sixteenth century 
date. \_Archceologia xv. 302.] The Beacon is, further, the 
Crest of the Marquess of Northampton, who is descended 
from Werburga, the great grand-daughter of Sir Maurice 
Berkeley, and the supporters of the Northampton arms are 

Upon the whole it seems likely that this Dragon legend is 
founded on some fact. It may have been some wild beast 
not now known in England which was encountered on the 
borders of the Forest by Sir Maurice Berkeley. Or perhaps 
it was some huge serpent against whose coils broken glass 
was used as a protection, and a local correspondent suggests 
that the Forest adder would probably grow to a very large 
size if it ever had a chance of living for a few years. Or 
" Dragon" may be the form which some mad animal took in 
popular legend, the danger of whose bite is indicated by the 
slaughter of the dogs and the rapidly following death of the 
knight himself. 

To come from misty legend to clear historical fact, it is 
known that Sir Maurice Berkeley died in the year 1460. 


He is supposed to have been buried in the chapel of the 
Dominican Priory at Bristol, of which the Register, as 
quoted by William of Worcester, contains an entry " Dominus 
Mauricius Berkley, miles, obiit 26 die novembris." In the 
nineteenth century a gentleman who had slain a Dragon 
would be a national celebrity, and we should certainly 
provide posterity with full particulars respecting him. The 
fifteenth century, at least in 1460, had no printing presses, 
and was much more sparing than we are in the use of the 
pen. Yet men who slay Dragons of any kind are so useful 
to their country, that one cannot but wish history had told 
us more clearly the particulars both of the noxious Dragons 
and of the brave knights who slew them. 

The next Berkeley of Beverston was also a Maurice, son 
to the dragon slayer and Laura Fitzhugh. He was bom in 
in the year 1434, and was married in very early life to Anne 
daughter of Reginald West, Lord de la Warr. Sir Maurice 
served as Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1463 and 1471, and 
was Knight of the Shire for the same county in the Par- 
liament of 1469. 1 In the year following he was joined with 
Lord Berkeley in a Commission for raising troops in Glouces- 
tershire on behalf of Edward IV. in the contest which ended 

1 Lord Stourton, Sir Maurice Berkeley "Knight of our body" and 
Sir John Cheyney " Esquire of our body," were appointed Com- 
missioners by King Edward IV. to arrange a dispute between the 
Corporation and the Bishop of Salisbury respecting an oath which 
the former were accustomed to take to the latter. In the end the 
Commissioners decided that the Episcopal claim was a just one, 
but the Crown smoothed over the difficulty by apppointing the Bishop 
a Commissioner to receive the oath on behalf of its august Self: 
this final decision being dated December 19th, 1461. [Hutchinson' s 
Dorsetshire, ij, 400] 

As will be seen, there was a close connection between the Stourtona 
and the Berkeleys of Beverston, and their arms stand side by side in 
the chancel screen of Mere Church. [Hoare's Wiltsh. Mere, 10] 


with the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury. He died at the 
age of forty in 1474, but yet appears to have survived his 
wife. Both of them were buried in the Lady Chapel of 
Christ Church, Hampshire, that Chapel having been founded 
by Sir Thomas West, ancestor of Lady Berkeley. This 
second Sir Maurice, left, as his father had done before him, 
a son and a daughter, the one being named William and the 
other Katharine. 

Katharine Berkeley was married, in the first instance, to 
John, Lord Stourton, by whom she had no children. Her 
second husband was Sir John Brereton, to whom she gave an 
only daughter Werberga or Warborough, who became the 
ancestress of the Marquesses of Northampton. 

Sir William Berkeley, born in 1451, was Sheriff of Hamp- 
shire in the years 1476 and 1480 ; and also of Somersetshire 
and Dorsetshire in 1477. He was Esquire of the body to 
Edward VI., and is said to have held other and greater em- 
ployments at Court. His wife was Lady Katharine Grey, 
daughter of Lord Stourton, his sister and he thus marrying 
brother and sister. Sir William Berkeley was mixed up 
with the rebellion of the Duke of Buckingham against 
Richard III., and on the discomfiture of the party fled to 
the Earl of Richmond in Brittany. \_Polydore Vergil, 200.] 
He was among those who were attainted in the first Parlia- 
ment of Richard III. [Rot. Parl. vj. 245], and doubtless 
remained abroad during the whole of that reign. In 1485 
the Earl of Richmond secured the Crown as Henry VII., 
and restored Sir William Berkeley of Beverston to his estates, 
but he did not live to return to them, dying of sweating 
sickness about the same time that Henry settled himself on 
the throne .* He died without children, and probably abroad, 
his wife surviving him. 

1 A cousin of the same name, Sir William Berkeley of Stoke Gifford, 
but mostly called of Weley Castle, Worcestershire, took the oppo- 


The younger son of Laura and Sir Maurice, and uncle of 
the Sir William just spoken of, had held the Hampshire 
estates during the life of his elder brother Maurice, and of 
his nephew; and was Sheriff of Hampshire in the year 1471, 
and member for the County in 1468. On the death of his 
nephew in 1485 Sir Edward Berkeley succeeded to Beverston 
and the other Gloucestershire estates, but those in Hampshire 
passed away to his niece Katharine, the wife of Sir John 
Brereton. Their daughter Werburgh was first married to 
Sir Francis Cheyney, by whom she had no children, and 
secondly to Sir William Compton, Groom of the Bedchamber 
to Henry VIII., by whom she was the ancestress of the 
Northampton family. 1 The Bistherne estates were thus 
separated from those of Beverston, and in 1634 were settled 
on Sir Henry Compton, younger son of Lord Compton and 
first cousin of the first Lord Northampton, from whom they 
passed to the husband of his female descendant, who took the 
name of Compton. 

Sir Edward Berkeley thus migrated from Bistherne to 
Beverston, where doubtless he had been born, and in 1493 

site side, and after a prosperous career during the short reign of 
Richard III. was attainted by the Parliament of that King's successor 
in 1485. All his estates were granted in tail male on March 2, 1486, 
to Jasper, Duke of Bedford, the uncle of Henry VII. but with 
remainder to Sir William ; and as the Duke of Bedford died childless 
the proper owner soon regained them. [Record Off. Materials illustr. 
reign of Henry VII. 335.] 

Camdea states that there was a custom peculiar to Gloucestershire 
that when the estates of condemned persons were forfeited to the 
Crown it was only for a year and a day, after which they were 
restored to the proper heir. Bishop Gibson remarks on this that the 
custom was lost by desuetude in his time. [Gibson's Camden's Brit- 
annia. 231, 246.] 

1 The pedigree of her descendants down to Henry Compton of 

Bistherne [ob. s. p. 1724,] and his wife Willis of Ringwood, is 

given in Scare's Wiltshire, Frustfield, 49. 


he became Sheriff of Gloucestershire. 1 His first wife was 
Christian Holt, daughter and heir of Richard Holt, Esquire, 

of . They had an only daughter to whom the name 

of her Fitzhugh grandmother, Laura, was given, and who 
was eventually married to Sir John Blunt, afterwards third 
Lord Mountj oy and Governor of Guisnes. 2 The second wife 
of Sir Edward Berkeley was Alice daughter of Sir John 
Poyntz ; by whom he had three sons, Thomas, Maurice, and 
William. He is said by Smyth to have been employed in 
great offices of trust, but what these were is not stated. He 
died in the year 1505, and his widow Alice in 1509, two 
of his three sons ultimately succeeding to Beverston. 

The eldest of these three sons, Sir Thomas Berkeley, mar- 
ried into the great Durham family of Neville, his wife being 
Elizabeth daughter of the second Lord Abergavenney. Her 
arms are impaled with those of Berkeley of Beverston in a 
fragment of coloured glass that remains opposite to the Beacon 
crest in the East window of Sopley Church, perhaps marking 
some benefaction to the Church or the foundation of a 

1 On September 12th, 1485, Sir Edward Berkeley's name is in the 
list of Sheriffs for Southamptonshire. On December 5th of that 
year there is an indication that he was leaving Bistherne, Thomas 
Westbury receiving a grant for life of the office of Bailiff or Forester 
[Verderer] of Burley in the New Forest " with wages, &c., such as 
Edward Berkeley had in the same office." [Materials illustrative of 
reign of H. VII. Rec. Of. p. 195.] Yet on Dec. llth, 1485, there is 
a similar grant to Edward Berkeley, Esq., with wages of 6 pence a 
day out of the issues of the County. [Ibid. 212.] 

a Her descendants were as follows : 

Laura Berkeley = John Blunt, 3rd Lord Mountjoy 

"William Rowland Laura Sir Thomas Tyrrell =Constantia 

4th Lord d. s. p. d. 1480. 

Mountjoy. 1509. from whom the Tyrrells of Heron, Essex. 

[This is the Sir Thomas Tyrrell of whom 
Sir Thomas More says, that being Master 
of the Horse to Richard HI. he was sent 
to murder the two Princes in the Tower.] 


Chantry there, or perhaps as one of the alliances of the Lady 
Werburgh Compton who was then in possession of Bistherne 
in the neighbouring parish of Ringwood. Lady Elizabeth 
died in the year 1500 leaving no children. Her arms are, 
however, impaled with a coat, which is not that of Berkeley, 
in an old window now in the hall at Chavenage, and probably 
removed there from Beverston Castle. Sir Thomas was living 
in 1521, when he was Sheriif of Gloucestershire, and at his 
death he left behind him three married daughters, and a son 
aged six years, who became the King's ward, but who died in 
his youth. 

Maurice, the second of Sir Edward's three sons, had died 
without children on September 9th, 1513. On the death of 
the young John' Berkeley, therefore, the Manors of Beverston, 
Over, &c., went to William the third son of Sir Edward. 
Livery of his lands was granted to Sir William Berkeley by 
the Crown on August 21st, 1522, in which there is a clause 
stating that it is granted notwithstanding a false Inquisition 
which had been made at Gloucester in 1509. This refers, 
perhaps, to some transaction connected with the death of his 
mother, Alice, the widow of Sir Edward, who died in that 
year. Sir William Berkeley married Margaret, daughter of 
the great William Paulett, Marquis of Winchester and Lord 
High Treasurer to Edward VI. and the Queens Mary and 
Elizabeth. He died in the year 1552, leaving two sons, John 
and Edward, and several other children. 

The sedilia in the lower chapel of the Castle appear to be 
of the date of Sir William Berkeley, and he is the "old 
Sir William " named by Leland as giving him the informa- 
tion that his ancestor Lord Berkeley had repaired the Castle 
of Beverston with the ransom of his Poictiers prisoners. 

Sir John Berkeley, the son and successor of " old Sir 
William," married Frances, daughter of Sir Nicholas Poyntz 
of Iron Acton, by whom he had one son and three daughters. 


He was one of the Knights of the Bath who were created at 
the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on January 13th, 1558-59. 
His wife, Frances, died at Beverston, the Parish Register 
containing the entry, " 1576. ffrances Barkeley the wife and 
ladie of Sir John Barkeley, Knight, and lord of Beverston, 
was buried the xxvijth day of August 1576, A.R.R Eliza- 
beth. 18 ." 1 He married again, but Smyth says of the 
second wife that she had no children and that her ungoverned 
life made her unworthy of a memorial in the few pages which 
he has dedicated to the Beverston branch of the Berkeleys. 
This second wife of Sir John Berkeley seems to be the lady 
referred to in a Domestic State Paper dated December 3rd, 
1623. This is an answer put in by Dame Elizabeth, widow of 
Sir Michael Hicks and her son Sir William Hicks to a petition 
presented by Dame Alice, widow of Sir John Berkeley of 
Beverston. In this petition Lady Berkeley set forth a claim 
to an annuity of 20 a year from the Manor of Beverston, 
and the answer denies that the Manor was ever subject to 
such a payment ; adding that if ever there was such a charge 
Dame Alice had made it void by her own act and bond. 
[St. Pap. Dom. James I.] Although Sir John was a man of 
ability and respectability he succeeded in ruining his property, 

1 His name occurs in the Parish. Register in the year 1573, in the 
following entry. "John Brewer y sonne of William Brewer was 
baptized y 6 xxijth of November. Godfathers Sir John Barkeley, 
Knight, and Richard Marloe." In a later year 1575, there is an 
entry stating that William Bartlett, servant to Sir John Berkeley, 
Knight, was married to Arm Bristol on May 1 9th. Also nine months 
later [o.s.] 1575 "firances Bartlett y e daughter of William Bartlett 
was baptized y e xth of March. Godfather Jo: Pierce. Godmothers 
y* Ladie flrances Barkley and Isabel White." 

1580 Mr. Edward Barkley was Godfather to Edward Bartlett on 
Aug. 10th, Mr. John Barkley to John Collman on Oct. 5th, as he 
had been to Agnes Brewer on Oct. 26th, 1579. 


by what means is not known. He died in 1581, but there 
is no record of his burial in the Parish Register. 

Of his three daughters Joan the eldest became a Benedic- 
tine Nun of St. Peter's, Rheims, at the age of twenty-five, 
in the year 1581. She was very instrumental in establishing 
the first English Nunnery abroad, one that was founded at 
Brussels, but removed to Winchester at the French Revolu- 
tion. Of this Belgian Nunnery Joan Berkeley became Abbess 
on November 4th, 1599, and she died in ofiice on August 2nd, 
1616, at the age of sixty-one. Of the second daughter the 
Parish Register gives us one glance " 1 595. Tho. Simmons 
clericus and Katharine Barkeley gentlewoman were joyned 
together in marriage y e xxviijth day of Aprill 1595." A 
similar glance is also obtained of the third daughter, " Jasper 
Merrick m r of artes and minister and Margaret Barkeley 
gentlewoman were coupled together in matrimonie y e xxist of 
August anno predicto," that is in 1595. Mr. Simmons was 
Rector of Cowley, Glouc , and had a son Thomas to inherit the 
blood of the Berkeleys. Mr. Merrick was Rector of Great 
Barrington, and had a daughter named Sybil. But the for- 
tunes of this once wealthy family had fallen very low when 
two daughters of the house, in such days as those of Eliza- 
beth, were permitted to marry two country Rectors, men 
who held positions of no wealth or distinction in their 
profession, and appear never to have risen higher. 

The only son of Sir John, who was also named John, 
married Mary, 1 -the daughter of John Snell, Esq. In the 

1 "Marie Berkeley, gentlewoman," was godmother, to Marie 
Bartlett in 1586, and to Marie Turner in 1591. "Mistress Katha- 
rine Barkeley," was godmother to Sara Pope in 1583. Margaret 
Barkeley, gentlewoman, was godmother to John Nicolas in 1590. 
It seems to have been a kindly habit for members of the family 
to become Sponsors for the children of their married servants ; there 
being as many as eleven entries of their names in such a capacity 
between 1573 and 1591. 


year 1597, after sixteen years' possession of Beverston lie sold 
the Castle and Manor, the last of his family's lands and 
possessions, 1 to Sir John Poyntz. Twenty-three years after- 
wards, in 1620, Sir John Berkeley l went to Virginia, per- 
haps at the invitation of Lord Delawarr the Governor, and 
with the object of retrieving his fortunes in a new country 
of "which Englishmen had already great hopes. But the 
Berkeleys of Beverston had got on the ebb tide of fortune, 
and Sir John had only been in Virginia a few months when, 
he formed one of a party who were massacred in one of those 
encounters with the Indians which led to the loss of so many 
among the early settlers there. 

This last of Berkeleys who ever possessed Beverston Castle 
had five sons and four daughters. The eldest son, Maurice, 
married Barbara, daughter of Sir Walter Long, and had a 
son named Edward, with other children. One of the daugh- 
ters was named Frances, and her baptism led to the last local 
record of the association between her family and their old 
Castle, the entry in the Parish Register being that in 1596 
" {Frances Barkeley the daughter of John Barkeley jof Bever- 
ston, Esquier, was baptized ye xxixth daye of Auguste. 
Godfather Jasper Merrick, gent. Godmothers Erne Estcourt 
of Shipton, gent., Elizabeth miles of Elmestree, gent." 2 
But no further trace has, at present, been discovered of the 
descendants of this great family since they left their ancient 
home at Beverston. 

1 The Berkeleys of Beverston are said to have possessed 22 Manors 
in Gloucestershire. Beverston, Over, Cam, Woodmancote, King's 
Weston, Cromhall, Ailberton, Bentham, Charfield, Compton Green- 
fiat, are among those which are attributed to them. 

2 He is spoken of by Smyth as "Sir" John, but as late as Aug. 
29th, 1596, when his daughter Frances was baptized, he is called 
" John Barkeley of Beverston, Esquier," in the Parish Register. In 
three cases where he stood Godfather he is called Mr. John Berkeley, 
these being in 1578, 1579, and 1591. 



From the hands of Sir John Poyntz ! the Beverston estate 
soon passed into those of Henry Fleetwood, Master of 
the Court of Wards, and a great estate monger, who got 
into trouble, however, for deficiency in his accounts." 
\_Foslrooke 1 s Glouc. i. 412.] He was no doubt a money- 
lender and mortgager who got hold of lands cheaply by fore- 
closing on embarrassed borrowers. He is set down in a 
subsidy of 1608 as "of Beverston." After holding it for a 
short time Mr. Fleetwood sold the estate to Sir Thomas 
Earstfield, but he bought it back again and then sold it once 
more to Sir Michael Hicks, Knight, a barrister, and Secretary 
to Lord Burleigh ; whose eldest son became Sir "William 
Hicks, Baronet, of Beverston, in 1619, and lived until 1680. 
His descendants held the Estate until the year 1842 when it 
was sold to R. J. Holford, Esq., of Weston Birt, and are now 
represented by Sir Michael Hicks Beach, whose Baronetcy is 
still styled " of Beverston." During the earlier half of the 
seventeenth century the Castle of Beverston was still the 
residence of its owners, Smyth saying that in his time 
about 1630-40 it was kept in good repair and was "often 
inhabited by the Lord thereof." 

Of the residence of Sir William Hicks at the Castle there 
is, however, no local memorial, unless some entries of 
baptisms belonging to families unconnected with Beverston 
may be considered as those of children of visitors to him. 
The most remarkable of these is the baptism of a Shakes- 
peare about four years after the death of William Shakes- 
peare. This is as follows, the year being 1619 : 

" Edward Shakespurre the sunne of John Shakespurre and 
Margery his wife was baptized the 1 7th day of September. 

( Edward Eastcourt 
Godfathers \ -p . a 

i rancis Savage 

Godmother j Mary Eastcourt" 

1 On October 21st, 1600, " Anne Poyntz, gentlewoman," was god- 
mother to Tobie Nicolas. [Par. Reg.'] 


Francis Savage and Mary Estcourt were married to each 
other in 1621 ; but Mr. Sotheron Estcourt, who is well 
acquainted with the history of his family, is unable to trace 
any connection with jJIShakespurre." J 

Twenty years afte^ards, the name of Estcourt again 
appears in the Register, for "Nathaniel the sonne of Mr. 
John Estcotte and Elizabeth his wife was baptized June 29th 
being St. Peter's Day, 1641." Walker, in his " Sufferings 

of the Clergy, " gives the name of " Escourt D.D." as the 

ejected Rector of Beverston cum Kingscote : [ Walker's Suff. 
Clergy. 237.] but Richard Hall the younger was Rector from 
1638 until 1684, and his signature is appended to a docu- 
ment in the Register which is dated 1653-4. Hall was, 
however, Yicar of Coaley, and his three parishes may have 
necessitated the assistance of Dr. Estcourt at Beverston, 
though the latter could not have been Rector. 

One other name of a distinguished family appears also as 
that of a probable visitor at the Castle, "Thomas the sonne 
of Thomas Hyde, Esq., and Bridget his wife " being 
baptized on January 24th, 1632. This was probably one of 
the great Lord Clarendon's family who were connected with 
Wootton Bassett about 14 miles distant from Beverston. 

But the Castle had become the residence of farmers at least 
as early as 1640, for " Nicolas Shipway farmer, of the Castle, 
was buried August 27 1640" while "John Shipway of the 
Castle and Elizabeth Webbe the daughter of Daniel Webbe 
the elder both of this parish were marryed September 
21 1640 " not having allowed the shadow of the cypress long 
to hinder the budding of the orange blossoms. 

Soon however the sweet perfume of orange blossoms was 
to be replaced by the grim odour of gunpowder, and the 

1 It is curious that Hathaway, the maiden name of William Shakes- 
peare's wife, is a not uncommon name in the Beverston register, and 
is still borne by several farmers at Kingscote and elsewhere in the 
neighbourhood. [See also DURSLEY.] 


peaceful pursuits of Fanner Shipway and his household to 
give way to those of a military garrison. "When Gloucester- 
shire came to take so large a share in thie miserable rebellion 
against Charles I., the King took possession of Beverston 
Castle as a commanding post on the edge of the disaffected 
manufacturing district which lay in the cloth weaving valleys 
between it and Gloucester. 1 Malmesbury, Tetbury, and 
Wotton-under-Edge, were also fortified posts, but Beverston 
seems to have been the only isolated Castle then existing in 
the district. How early in the Civil wars the Castle was 
thus taken possession of by the Crown is not known, but 
the Parish Register records that " Daniel Backhouse, a 
souldier of the Castle was buryed the 23rd of Novemb: 
1643;" that "Thomas Prichard a souldier of the Castle 
was buried the 15th of Decemb : 1643;" that "John Eires 
of Horsley a souldier of the Castle was buryed the 19th day of 
February 1643" (or 1644 New Style); that "Kichard 
Austen, a souldier of the Castle was biiryed the 1 1th of Nov- 
ember 1644;" and that " Thomas Manwayring, Mareschall 
of the Castle was buryed the 16th of December 1644." A 
very great mortality had fallen upon Beverston in 1643 and 
1644, the usual average of annual burials being 3, and the 
number rising to 22 in 1643 and 11 in 1644; among the 
thirty-three being 15 women, 5 infants, and several old 
persons. 2 It may have been, therefore, that the five deaths 

1 The King passed through Tetbury on his way from Bristol to 
Gloucester, on August 8th, 1643, and dined there : hut the route he 
took was by Cirencester and Painswick. \Iter. Carol. Gutch's Collect. 
ij. 431.] 

2 One of the women, " Agnes the wife of William Wright was 
miserably burnt to death in her home April 8th, and was buryed that 
same night following. 1644." [Par. Reg.~] She had been married in 

There is a tradition in the village of a terrible visitation of small 
pox, and a field near Charlton is still known as the Small Pox field 


thus recorded among the garrison of the Castle were part of 
this mortality, and that they do not indicate fighting hefore 
its walls. 

Beverston Castle took no unimportant part, however, in the 
actual warfare of those terrible times, and its ruined condition 
is to he dated from them. As the war went on, the northern 
parts of Gloucestershire fell more and more into the hands of 
the rebels, and as Beverston " commanding the rich clothiers 
of Stroud water," hindered the southward carriage of the 
manufactures by which these disloyal clothiers became rich, 
it was a great object to get it out of the hands of the King. 
Early in 1644, therefore, Colonel Massey, the rebel com- 
mander at Gloucester, marched thence to Beverston with a 
party of 300 foot and 80 horsemen. The horse soldiers were 
sent on to Tetbury, where Horatio Gary the governor, with 
his whole regiment, were put to flight by them, with the loss 
of fourteen men slain or taken prisoners. Beverston was not, 
however, so easily managed. 

" Colonel Massey " says an old Puritan Minister who 
wrote an account of the rebel doings in Gloucestershire 
" brought up his men and two sakers against Beverston Castle, 
where, having surrounded it, he planted his guns within 
pistol shot of the gate, and gave fire several times. Fifty 
musketeers ran up to the gate at noon-day and fixed a petard, 
which nevertheless failed in execution." Doubtless the 
drawbridge was duly drawn up against the stone rabbet 
which is still to be seen in the walls of the Barbican, and 
the petard could only be lodged near the gate by throw- 
ing it across the Moat. But besides this the defenders 

from a hospital having been erected there near to a ready supply of 
water. Such a visitation occured in Tetbury in 1711. But John 
Ludlow, sexton for about twenty years preceding 1875, says that 
there are indications of a great mortality in the shape of " many 
corpses heaped together " at the western side of the Church Tower. 


in the upper part of the Barbican were well prepared for the 
assault. " Those from within threw grenades amongst our 
men but hurt none, who although thereby forced from the 
gate, yet they ran up the second time, being open to the full 
shoot of a secure enemy and brought off the petard with much 
gallantry." It does not seem as if such fighting was veiy 
dangerous work when out of fifty men in front of the gate 
none could be hit by the garrison. But it is gratifying to 
find that the defence was effective enough at this time to 
drive away the assailants. " The design was not feasible 
for a quick despatch ; for the gate was barricaded within," 
having a formidable portcullis, 1 the groves for working which 
up and down still remain. Then " the night came on, and 
those remote parts did promise no security to so small a 
party: likewise the state of the city required them nearer 
home ; wherefore after twelve hours the party was drawn 
off" retreating towards Wotton-under-Edge. \_Corlefs Hist. 
Milit. Gorernm. Glouc. p. 61. ed. 1647.] 

The Governor of Beverston Castle at this time was Colonel 
Oglethorpe. Corbet says that he had made himself " odious 
to the country by strange oppressions and tyranny," the 
Puritan way, no doubt, of recording that he had done his 
duty faithfully as an officer of the Crown, and did not let the 
Dissenting republicans have everything their own way among 
" the rich clothiers of Stroudwater." But discord arose 
within the Castle through the appointment of Sir Baynham 

1 This portcullis remained until about 70 years ago, and the draw- 
bridge until a later date : but the Moat in front of the Barbican, and 
westward as far as the northern Tower is now filled up, probably 
with the stones of the curtain wall on that side. About half of the 
Barbican has disappeared, including the upper chambers and the 
vaulting between the portcullis and the drawbridge. Cocks and hens 
still find a roosting place, however, in the northern guard-room. 


Throckmorton 2 to supersede Oglethorpe in the command ; 
and it seems to have been considered that the latter was 
treated unfairly by his removal from the post which he had 
so effectually defended. The King was often ill advised by 
those about him in such matters, and this was not the only 
case in which the Royal and National cause lost ground that 
might have been kept through similar want of tact. In the 
middle of May Throckmorton was on his way to take the 
command of Beverston, when an unfortunate event happened 
which was cleverly made use of by Massey as a means of 
getting the Castle into his hands. While he was engaged in - 
securing Herefordshire to the rebels who called themselves 
the Parliament, but had no constitutional claim to the title, 
Massey " received advertisement that seven of his soldiers 
had taken Colonel Oglethorpe, the governor of Beverston 
Castle and six other of his troopers, and brought them to 
Gloucester." \_Staveley 1 s Eben-Ezer, a full and exact account 
of . . . . Colonel Massey' s victories. Published June 4, 1644. 
p. 330 of Washbourn's reprintJ] Corbet says that Oglethorpe 
was in "a private house courting his mistress," but the 
contemporary account just quoted does not refer to any such 
circumstance. However that may really have been Massey 
evidently considered that he had made a very important 
capture, for " coming to Gloucester May 21" [1644] " in the 

2 Sir Baynham Throckmorton was connected with the Berkeley's 
thus : 

Maurice Lord Berkeley =Isabel 
14251506 | 

Anne = Sir William Dennis 

Sir John Berkeley=Isabel 
of Stoke Gifford | 

Sir Eichard Berkeley=Elizabeth 

Henry Elizabeth = Sir Thomas Throckmorton 

Berkeley [ of Tortworth, Bart. 
Sir William = Cicely, daughter of Sir Thomas Baynham 

Sir Baynham Throckmorton 


evening" he " despatched the business he came about, and 
then finding, by examination of some of the said prisoners, 
that there were some distractions happened upon taking the 
governor of Beverston Castle touching the government 
thereof, and the rather because the King had granted the 
same unto Sir Baynham Throckmorton while the said 
Oglethorpe was governor, the said noble governor of Glouces- 
ter resolved to take the opportunity to perform some worthy 
exploits." \_lbid.~\ He could not at once make up his mind, 
however ; for to take Beverston he would have to give up a 
very important work in Herefordshire, and Corbet's account of 
Massey's doubts shews how very important a position Bever- 
ston Castle occupied from a military point of view. He speaks 
revilingly of Oglethorpe (which leads a just mind to think the 
Royalist Colonel had something more of excellence than usual 
in his character), and says, that " when once taken he was 
not so high and stern before but now as vile and abject. By 
which means the Governor" Massey " was made sensible of the 
weakness of the Castle, but much divided in his own thoughts 
whether to leave the country that came on so fairly to a self- 
engagement, and neglect the contribution already levied " 
that is in Herefordshire " but not yet paid in, or desert the 
hopes of a gallant service : till at last, considering the great 
command of the Castle, that the gaining of it would free the 
Clothiers of Stroudwater from the bondage and terror of that 
government, and might prove a great detriment and annoy- 
ance to the enemy in stopping or disturbing their passage 
from Oxford to Bristol, he turned his thoughts to the busi- 
ness, put on and resolved to try for it." \_Corbefs History, 
Sfc., 91.] A.t two o'clock the same night, therefore, this 
prompt general posted off to Ross, and commanded his foot 
over Severn at Newnham Passage, whilst the horse marched 
through Gloucester. By a forced march occupying the night 
and day he rendezvoused within three miles of Beverston on 


Thursday the 23rd. Prom this halting place he quickly 
inarched on to Beverston. The garrison were taken com- 
pletely by surprise, and heing deceived hy some plausible 
messages sent in to them by Massey, the officer in command 
during Oglethorpe's absence surrendered before midnight. 
\_Staveley' s Eben-Ezer, 330.] The same garrison which under 
Oglethorpe had made so effective a resistance was now induced 
to give up the Castle at once to Massey, " upon condition 
that both officers and common soldiers, leaving their arms, 
ammunition, bag and baggage " the arms and ammu- 
nition, according to Staveley, amounting to 50 muskets and 
four barrels of powder they " should freely pass to whatso- 
ever garrison of the King's themselves desired, only four 
officers had the privilege to take each man his horse. So 
that" adds Corbet " without lessor danger we were possessed 
of Beverston Castle, to the great content and satisfaction of 
the country roundabout." [Corbet's Hist., fyc., 91.] The fact 
seems to have been that a panic had seized the garrison 
through their loss of Colonel Oglethorpe, and that the state of 
affairs was so misrepresented by Massey (who was notorious 
for this kind of stratagem) as to lead those in command to 
consider it useless to make any attempt at retaining possession 
of the Castle for the Crown. Corbet, however, asserts that 
" it was lost unworthily on the enemy's part, who might have 
held it with ease. Of so great simplicity was he conscious 
that commanded the garrison, as to ask the place whither our 
forces intended the next march, expressing his doubts of 
Malmesbury, and fear of being taken the second time. 
Nevertheless they required a conduct thitherward and were 
guarded by two troops of horse, and that very day our forces 
fell before it." [lbid.~\ Captain Reid " a faithful man in the 
service of the Parliament " \Elen-Ezer\ was left as Governor 
of Beverston whilst Massey and his troops marched the same 
night to Malmesbury. After some sharp fighting and a good 


deal of bloodshed (the marks of the cannon balls are still 
visible on the west front of the Abbey) Malmesbury was, in 
two or three days, taken ; and among the prisoners were those 
who had retreated thither from Beverston. 

A week after this gallant surprise of both places, on May 
31st, 1644, the House of Commons " Ordered, That the town 
of Malmesbury, and the Castle of Beverston, as to the 
government of. them, shall be left wholly to the disposal of 
Colonel Massey." [Eben-Ezer, 336.] Colonel Henry Stephens 
was the Governor of Beverston appointed by Massey under 
this authority, and was doubtless a relative of Nathaniel 
Stephens the then owner of Chavenage House, a mile east- 
ward of the Castle. Tradition connects this Elizabethan 
Hall with the names of Cromwell, Lord Essex, and Ireton, 
three upper rooms having those names affixed to their doors 
as memorials that they were once occupied by the three 
Republican Generals. Another tradition also brings Charles 
I. in royal robes, but headless, with a black coach drawn 
by black horses, to fetch the departing soul of each Lord of 
Chavenage at his death, as a punishment for the treason 
of Nathaniel Stephens during his life. 1 

Shortly after his appointment Colonel Stephens left Bever- 
ston without orders, for the purpose of leading three troops 
of his own regiment and some from Malmesbury to the relief 

1 At a sale of the contents of Chavenage in 1870 " Cromwell's hat " 
was one of the curiosities offered hy the auctioneer. The house is an 
interesting old mansion, with a large Hall, the windows of which are 
filled with a curious mixture of mediaeval glass (probably brought 
from a neighbouring Priory and from Beverston) and Dutch glass of 
a much later date which contains several Merchants' marks. At one 
end of the Hall is an Organ gallery, and from thence there are com- 
munications with several bed-rooms which are hung with tapestry. 
A chapel outside the house contains some quaint kneeling figures of 
Elizabethan or Jacobean Stephenses ; and the spread eagle, the 
Stephens' crest, appears as a finial on two gables of the Mansion. 


of Rowden House, between Devizes and Malmesbury. By 
his imprudence he was turned from besieger to besieged, a 
force of 400 horse and foot being cooped up in Rowden 
House, by a bold dash of the Royalists. Beverston was thus 
placed in danger of recapture but was relieved by a party of 
horse soldiers from Gloucester. \_Corlefs Hist. 8fc., 125, 127.] 
The Castle does not seem to have borne any part in the further 
troubles of the time, Gloucestershire falling almost entirely 
into the hands of the rebels. Yet on July 14th, a Sunday, 
in 1644, Charles I. marched by the Castle at the head of 
7000 troops, horse and foot, on the road from Gloucester to 
Bath and thence westward to Cornwall, resting on the night 
of the 13th at Saperton House, Sir Henry Pool's, and on 
that of the 14th at Badminton, then Lord Herbert's of 
Ragland. \_Iter. Carol. Gutch's Collect. Curios, ij. 434. 
Symonds 1 Diary, 30.] 

The traditions of the village assert that the time of the 
" siege " was a very terrible one for Beverston people : point 
to fields which were occupied by the besiegers ; and declare 
that many of the garrison as well as of the assailants were 
slain. But it seems to have been rather a rapid surprise than 
a siege, and it is more than likely that every one on both 
sides escaped from its dangers scot free. Peace seems at 
least to have returned to Beverston within a very few months, 
for " Mary Chambers the daughter of Mr. William Chambers 
of the Castle, and Elizabeth his wife, was baptized on 
October 7th, 1644," within less than half a year after it had 
been taken by the Roundheads. 1 

1 The two succeeding entries, on November 16th and December 
19th, are of the baptisms of " Anne the natural daughter of Mary 
Neeme" and " Sarah the natural daughter of Constance Myll: " and 
they are, perhaps, a memorial of garrison times in Beverston. 

There were no christenings entered between December 27th, 1644, 
and August 14th, 1646. This may arise from the irregularities of the 
" Parish Register " whose appointment is thus entered. 


Bigland says that the Castle was burnt down " soon after 
the siege," and that a large dwelling-house which was huilt 
within its walls was hurnt down about 1691, being replaced 
by the present Farm House. \JBiglantfs Glow. j. 177.] 
There may have been two such destructive fires within half 
a century where there is no record of any in 500 years 
before ; but fire would not have destroyed the massive walls 
which must have stood on the Northern and Eastern sides. 
It is more likely that some kind of dismantling process went 
on at Beverston as at Berkeley when Castles were no longer 
permitted to be fortified, after the Restoration. Perhaps the 
old Hall, fitted with floors and turned into Mr. Shipway's 
Farm-house, was really burnt down in 1601 : and then large 
quantities of the squared stones from the remaining walls 
would naturally be used in building the existing house. The 
interior rubble of such walls gradually crumbles down, and 
nas doubtless been used to fill up the Moat on the North and 

" Wee the Parishioners of Beverston whose names are hereunto 
subscribed doe certifie that we have made choice of Peter Wood to 
be our Parish Register according to the Act of Parliament 
Ric: Hall Minister 
Daniel Webbe 
Timothy Webb ) Churche 
Edmond Allen / wardens 
Anto Kingscote / John Shipway 

William Ivons | Overseers 
Joseph Webb j of the poor 

John Brown | n . , , 
T> i v XT- V, i ( Constables 
Ralph Nicholas > 

This document is undated, but Anthony Kingscote died in Aug., 1654. 
Richard Hall, minister, was doubtless one who, from the repose of a 
good Benefice, could see good on both sides, for he reigned during 
the whole time of the Presbyterian system as well as during that of 
the Church ; being Rector from 1638 to 1684. His father, Richard 
Hall also, was Rector from 1617 until 1638, and both lie side by side 
within the altar rails. 



East sides and for other purposes about the Castle and the 
Tillage. It is evident that no care has heen taken to pre- 
serve any part of the Castle except what was useful for the 
domestic purposes of a farm house ; and hence it is more 
surprising that so much has been preserved than that so much 
has disappeared. 

The earliest view of the Castle which is known to the 
writer is one among Buck's large collection of engravings of 
the Churches, Castles, Monasteries, &c., of England, and 
which is dated on the plate itself, in the year 1732. It is not 
at all accurate, but shews the Moat full of water all round 
the Castle ; and a portion of the north wall not now existing. 
The next view is one engraved in Groses Antiquities, [vol. v., 
or Suppt. vol. i.] 1785. In this the Western side is shewn, 
much as it is now, but with unblocked windows and without 
its surroundings of trees. A view from the Barbican side also 
forms No. IV in Hearne's Antiquities of Great Britain, pub- 
lished in 1807. A view of the Church, with the Castle 
beyond, is to be found in Bigland's Gloucestershire, i. 175, 
published in 1791. Buck's view is engraved on a smaller 
scale in the " History of the House of Gurney." 


There is no reason to think that the parish of Beverston 
is otherwise than contemporary with the Manor of Beverston : 
but the earliest notice of it with which the writer is ac- 
quainted dates about the year 1170, when Henry, the fifth 
son of Robert Fitz-harding, was Rector. He was one of the 
great pluralists of the feudal times, being Archdeacon of 
Exeter and Rector of all the churches within the honour of 
Berkeley. Such an array of responsibilities was not enough, 
however, to satisfy the spiritual cravings of ambitious minds 
among the Norman clergy, and the Venerable Henry Fitz- 
harding was also Treasurer of Normandy. \_Smyth.~] He 
could thus have very little time to spare for his parish- 
ioners at Beverston ; but as he was unable, probably, to speak 
a word of their language, this circumstance may not have 
been of much consequence to them. No doubt the Norman 
clergyman did as so many of his successors in the parish did 
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, spent nine-tenths 
of his Tithes at a distance, and paid a resident Curate who 
could talk to the people in their own tongue, with the 
remaining tenth. 

About the year 1280 Anselm de Gournay made over the 
Patronage of the Rectory to the Abbey of St. Peter at 
Gloucester, together with an acre and a quarter of land, 
just enough to give them a footing in the parish. \_Hist. Mon. 
Glocest. Rec. Off. ed.] Probably all succeeding rectors were 
Monks of Gloucester. 


In 1292 THOMAS BE ATEUING was Rector, but whether 
(like a recent successor) he was also Rector of Avening. does 
not appear. \_Pr ynne's Records, iij. 592.] 

There is a grave stone just outside the Chancel on which 
is incised a heautiful Calvary Cross, and which may he the 
memorial of a mediaeval Rector. All that can be made out of 
the inscription is "... Holcombe qui Obiit . . deo . . Decembris 
Anno dni millimo mcccclxiiij cujus anime . . amen." 

At the suppression of St. Peter's Monastery in 1540, the 
Advowson of Beverston was transferred to the Crown, and 
was not restored to the Church of Gloucester when it was 
converted into a Cathedral Church in 1541. Previously to 
the latter date the parish of Beverston had been in the 
Diocese of "Worcester. 

WILLIAM JENNINGS was Rector in 1554, having been pre- 
sented by Queen Mary. [BiglanoFs Gloucl\ 

THOMAS PUKIE became Rector in 1563, and continued so for 
the long period of 54 years. In 1571 he was made Prebendary 
of Gloucester, and remained so for forty years, resigning in 
1610. He was of a Gloucester family well known in that 
city during the sixteenth century. Walter Purie, his grand- 
father, was a benefactor to the Church of St. Mary le Crypt : 
his father, Thomas, was Sheriff in 1541, Mayor in 1550, 
1560, and perhaps in 1580. On August 24th, 1564, this 
"Thomas Purie the elder, of Gloucester," was godfather to 
" Thomas, the son of Thomas Purie, Clerk," as appears by 
the second entry in the Parish Register of Beverston. He is 
buried in St. Mary le Crypt. A later Thomas was Member 
for Gloucester in 1666, and his son Thomas, born on July 
16th, 1619, was Mayor during its siege by the forces of 
Charles I. 

Purie was contemporary with Sir William, Sir John, and 
Mr. John Berkeley, and also with Sir Michael Hicks the first 
of that family who was called " of Beverston." He had a 
family of seven children ; and, after an incumbency of more 


than half a century, one of his last acts was to baptize a 
grandchild. Among the godfathers and godmothers of his 
children (never residents of Beverston) were William, Henry, 
Tobie, and Mary Sandford of Stonehouse, and Winifred 
Pointz of Alderley. 

His eldest daughter, Susanna, married Richard Woodruffe, 
Vicar of Elmstree and afterwards of Arthington (?), on May 
31st, 1591. His second daughter, Alice, when she was only 
seventeen years old, married Robert "Wiere of Beverston, 
on October 2nd, 1589, his former wife, Joan Wiere, having 
died on June llth, 1588. They continued to live in Bever- 
ston as late as 1613, when their daughter Katharine Wiere 
was married to Robert Downe alias Buckler. The third 
daughter, Margaret, born in 1579, married two clergymen in 
succession, her first husband, married on April 20th, 1604, 
being William Blewett, " mr of artes and minister of the 
worde of Gode at Long Newton ; " her second, " Richard 
Allen, mr of artes and pastor of the parish of ...... 

Diocese of Wells," whom she married on May 4th, 1613. 
Mr. Blewett was living on October 7th, 1610, when he was 
godfather to Elizabeth, daughter of John and Margaret 
Purie, so that his wife did not long continue in her widow's 

Katharine Purie, the wife of the Rector of Beverston, 
whose name often appears in the Register in the kindly office 
of godmother to the children of parishioners, died on December 
1st, 1604. A handsome slab, evidently copied from the 
Holcombe stone, but without the cross, covers her grave on 
the north side of the Chancel, the following inscription being 
carved around its margin in black letter : " Here lieth the 
bodye of Katharine Purye the wife of Thomas Purye minister 
of the worde in this place, who dyed the 1 day of Decemb : 
in the yeare of the Lorde 1604, and of her life the 67." 

Above, on the north wall of the Chancel is a more lengthy 


and curious inscription of the true Elizabethan character ; 
as follows : 

Ao 1604. 

Dece. lo ^tat 67<> 
Epicediu l Katharinae Pury 
Quae defuncta iacet saxo tumulata sub illo, 

Bis cathara, haud ficto nomine, dicta fuit. 
Nomen utrumque sonat mundam, puram, piamqe : 

Et vere, nomen quod referebat, erat, 
Nam puram puro degebat pectore vitam ; 
Pura fuit mundo, nunc mage pura Deo. 
TldvTix, KOL^tx-pa, rolf xa&ctpoif 
Omnia pura puns. 
Tit: i: ver: 15: 

1 This rather rare word means Funeral Dirge as distinguished from 
monumental Epitaph. It was probably used to distinguish the verses 
from the actual Epitaph on the slab below. The verses may be 
translated thus : 

She whom, deceased, this stone doth now o'erlay 
Was twice named Cathara in no feigned way. 
Each name Pure, Pious, Clean-lived, signifies 
And she was truly what each name implies : 
For with pure heart pure ways of life she trod, 

Pure was she here, now far more pure with God. 
The following particulars of the Purie family (except the name of 
"Walter) are taken from the Register. 
Walter Purie = 

Thomas = 

Thomas = Katharine 
1617 | 15371604 

Thos. Susanna=Rich. Daniel Alice=Rob. "Wm.=Margt.=Rich. John=Margt. 
1564 1567 | Woodruffe 1569- 1572- | Wiere Blewett Allen | 

John Thomas III III 

1567 1591 Timothy Anne Katharine =Robt. Elizabeth Maria Anna 

1610 1610 Downe 1610 1614 1617 


Purie (so he writes the name himself) kept the Parish 
Register with the greatest exactness and neatness during the 
whole time of his Incumbency, his very plain writing not 
being changed in character during the whole fifty-four years. 1 
For more than fifty years he entered the names of all 
godfathers and godmothers of the children he baptized, a 
practice not long continued after his death. On August 30th, 
1617, he entered the baptism of his grandchild Anna in his 
usual firm and clear hand as far as the word godmothers and 
then stopped. " Marye Halle and Marye Myles " are written 
in another hand, perhaps that of " John Smith, minister," 
who had lived in the parish for several years and seems to 
have acted as Purie' s assistant. 2 It looks as if the hand of 
the old Rector had suddenly stopped through illness, for 
although on the day but one after, September 1st, 1617, he 
entered the burial of John Wright, the following entry is 
that of his own burial, on October 5th, 1617, five weeks later. 
He must then have been about 80 years of age, or perhaps 
more ; for the 54 years of his Incumbency were not likely to 
have begun until he had been several years ordained. 
Strange to say there is no inscription to his memory. 

The pages of the Register bring one into contact with the 

1 There are no particulars of additional interest recorded, such as 
are met with in some registers. But Purie always mentions Holy 
Days when the date of the entry coincides with any. Thus in 1580. 
" Mdm That there was a crisome child of Nicolas Barnes buried ye 
xijth day of May, being Ascension Day 1580." A "chrisom child" 
is an infant who dies within a month after christening, while the 
anointing of its Baptism is still fresh upon it. Near the porch of 
Durham Cathedral there is a beautiful little tombstone of one who 
died a few years ago. Another was buried at Beverston in 1586. 
" They are without fault before the throne of God." 

a Probably Smith was a Puritan clergyman who would not hold a 
cure. He is buried under one of the high tombs in the Churchyard. 


handwriting of this Elizabethan Rector of Beverston, and 
with a scrap or two of his personal history during the fifty 
years that he was so : the pages of Foxe the Martyrologist 
give us one of his letters, and a glance at his early history. 

A hot-brained youth named Julius Palmer, fellow of Mag- 
dalen College, Oxford, was expelled from that college at the 
age of twenty, in the latter part of Edward the Sixth's reign, 
for insulting Dr. Haddon the President, and for what Foxe 
calls " other Popish pranks." For a short time he became a 
tutor in the family of Sir Francis Knollys, but on the 
accession of Queen Mary he succeeded, " waiting as a dog for 
a bone," in obtaining restoration to his fellowship. This 
had the effect of changing his mind to such an extent, that 
although " If he could have suppressed the word of God in 
King Edward's days, such was his malicious zeal, he would 
sure have done it ; " the kindness of Queen Mary's Papist 
Commissioners made him rebound from one extreme to the 
other, and " in the end he became of an obstinate papist, an 
earnest and zealous gospeller." As he had been expelled by 
the Protestants in 1552 so in 1555 he was in danger of being 
expelled by the Papists, and he therefore left the College 
voluntarily, obtaining a grammar school mastership at Read- 
ing. Here some dispute arose between him and one Thomas 
Thackam respecting a similar appointment in Gloucestershire ; 
and when Palmer was at length apprehended, and eventually 
burned (at twenty-three years of age) at Newbury on July 
6th, 1556, Thackam was bitterly charged by him with having 
contrived his death because he had, at his earnest request, 
taken a seditious letter, (of the contents of which he knew 
nothing,) to the Mayor of Reading! Foxe recorded this 
charge in his "Acts and Monuments" in 1570, and Thackam, 
then a clergyman at Northampton, wrote " an An s were to " 
the " Slaunder," consisting of thirty- three folio pages, \Hwrl. 
MSS. 425, 10] in which he indignantly repudiated it, as 


he also did at a personal interview with Foxe, and among 
other things declared that he had given Palmer money to 
keep him from starvation. In a later edition the martyrologist 
half withdrew what he had said about him. But he only half 
withdrew it, because in the meanwhile he had sent Thackam's 
" Answere " to Beverston with a request that Pury would 
peruse it. The following is the Rector of Beverston's 
reply : 

" Right reverend and beloved in the Lord, 
" I have received your letters, together with Thackam's 
answer, which I perceive you have well perused, and do 
understand his crafty and ungodly dealing therein, that I 
may not say, fond and foolish. For he doth not deny the 
substance of the story, but only seeketh to take advantage by 
some circumstances of the time and place ; wherein yet may be 
ther was an oversight, for lack of perfect instructions, or good 
remembrance at the begynning. He confesseth that he de- 
livered a letter of Palmer's own hand to the maior of Reading, 
which was the occasion of his imprisonment and death ; only 
he excuseth himself by transferring the crime a seipso ad 
martyr em. Briefly, his whole end and 'purpose is to give the 
world to understand that the martyr was guilty, as well of 
incontinency, as also of wilful casting away of himself. 
impudent man ! The wise and godly reader may easily smell 
his stinking heart. He careth not, though he outface the 
godly martyr, and the whole volume of martyrs to save 
(as he thinks) his own honesty and good name. Howbeit I 
cannot, but God will, confound him to his utter shame, and 
reveal his cloked hypocrisy to the defence of his blessed 
martyrs, and the whole story. Though many of them be 
dead that gave instructions in times past, and now could have 
boure witness, yet, thanks be to God, ther want not alyve, 
that can and wyl testify the truath herein to his confusion. 
No dylygence shall be spared in the matter, as shortly, I 


trust, you shall understand. In the mean while Thackam 
nede not be importunate for an answer. He reporteth him- 
self to the whole towne of Reading ; therefore he must geve 
us some space. The God of truth defend you, and all other 
that maintain his truth, from the venomous poyson of lyars. 
Vale in Christo, qui Ecclesia sues te diu servet incolumen. 
Prom Beverston in Glocestershire, May vi. 
Yours in the Lord 

Thomas Purye, minister. 

" To the right reverend in God. mr John Fox, preacher 
of the gospel in London, be these dd. at Mr Daies 
the printer, dwelling over Aldersgate, beneath S 
Martins." 1 

The information obtained by Pury for Foxe was con- 
tained in a letter from "John Moyer, Minister," dated 
from " Crosly this 18. of May" and addressed "To his 
assured Friend and Brother in Christ, Mr. Purey Preacher 
at Beverston," and is printed in Foxe's " Appendix of such 
Notes and Matters as either have been in this History 
omitted, or newly inserted," 2 but it contains nothing that 
throws more light on the matter in controversy, or that 
is of interest in these pages. There is also a " Reply to an 
indiscreete Answer made by Thomas Thackam sometime of 
Reading against the stoiy of Julius Palmer, martyr," which 
may have been written by Pury, consisting of sixty-four folio 
pages. [Harl. MSS. 425. 11.] This may have been written 
by Pury, the handwriting being like his, but it is full of 
petty accusations and abusive language, and adds nothing to 
the story. 

It is of more interest to observe that Foxe appends to his 
original account of Palmer some Latin verses which play 
upon his name in a manner precisely like that of Pury in his 

1 Strype's Memorials Eccl. III. i. p. 584. ed. 1822. 
8 Foxe's Acts and Monuments, viii. 721. ed. 1849. 


Epicedium on his wife. Palmer himself had written an 
" Epicedium," Foxe says, on Bishop Gardner. 

" De Hartyrio Palmeri, hexasticon 
Palmerus flammas Christi pro dogmate passus, 

Impositum pondus, ceu bona palma, tulit. 
Non retrocessit, sed, contra, audientior ivit, 

Illsesam retinens fortis in igne fidem. 
Propterea in coelum nunc Palmifer iste receptus 
Justitise Palmam non pereuntis habit. 

Justus ut Palma florebit." 1 

This play of words, to the effect that Palmer suffering 
for the faith of Christ bore the weight of his sufferings like a 
good Palm tree, and thus as a good Palm bearer received the 
victor's Palm branch seems to mark the pen of the good 
man who made so much out of his wife's name : and so 
also does the Scripture quotation at the end, " the Righteous 
shall flourish as the Palm Tree." "We shall not be far wrong, 
probably, if we conclude that Pury was responsible for the 
whole narrative given by Foxe, and that he was one of 
Palmer's friends when they were all sowing their wild oats 
at Magdalen College. As will be seen in the account of 
Dursley, we are indebted to a Thomas Thackam who 
flourished there in 1566 for much of what we know re- 
specting its early Elizabethan history. Was the next door 
neighbour of Thomas Pury the Thackam of whom he wrote, 
or his father ? 

The next Rector was RICHAED HALL [1617-1638]. His 
signature appears at the foot of the Register, and his wife's 
name, Elizabeth, now and then stands as godmother to a 
parishioner's infant. The Register also records two of his 
gifts to the Church and Parish. " 1636. The pulpit cloth and 
cushion, and altar cloth of green cloth with green silk fringe 

1 Foxe's Acts and Monuments, viii. 219. ed. 1849. 


were given by Mr. Richard Hall, Rector of Beverston, at his 
own charges." " 1638. There was given to the use of the 
poor of the parish of Beverston three pounds by Elizabeth 
Hall the widow of the said Richard, to be employed from 
year to year by the Rector and Churchwardens successively 
for ever on Friday before Whit-sunday." The altar cloth, 
pulpit cloth and cushion, probably disappeared at the time 
when Puritanism was in the ascendant and their ecclesiastical 
colour would be odious to those in power. The poor money 
has also disappeared, being odious, doubtless, to those charged 
with its payment. 

Richard Hall died on June 30th, 1638 and was buried on 
July 1st, in front of the Altar, where lies a stone with the 
inscription " Sub hoc saxo jacet corpvs mri Rich. Hall Rectoris 
istius ecclesiaB. obiit 30o Junii 1638." 

Another RICHARD HALL, son of his predecessor, succeeded 
[1638-1684] of whose family history the following parti- 
culars may be gleaned from the Register. 1 

Mrs. Hall (Hester) was buried on June 29th, 1655. Her 
husband survived her 29 years, dying on August 2nd, 1684, 
and being buried on August 3rd on the south side of his 
father's grave. The inscription on his grave-stone is as 
follows, but is nearly effaced by the foot of the priests his 
successors passing to the Altar : " Svb hoc saxo reqviescit 
corpvs Richardi Hall hvjvs ecclesiee Rectoris qvi postqvam 
in hacce triginto octoqve annos honeste ac fideliter mvnere 
sacerdotali perfvnctus esset mortalitatem deposvit vicesimo 
die Augusti, Anno Dom. 1684, .ZEtatis sva? 73. " Purie and 

1 Richard Hall = Elizabeth 
1638 I 165 

Richard = Hester 
16131684 | 1655 

Nathaniel Hester Solomon 
16461672 1648-1658 1651- 



the Halls held the Rectory among them for no less a time 
than 121 years. The younger Hall remained at his post 
during the Rebellion, but whether or not he conformed to the 
Presbyterianism then established there is nothing to shew. 
But the phrase " munere sacerdotali " on his grave-stone, 
does not look as if he was a Puritan. 1 

The Halls, father and son, were succeeded by ANDREW 
NEKDHAK [1684-1711], of whose family the Register records 
as follows : 

Andrew Needham=Ann 
16421711 I 

"William Mary Sibilla=Rev. James Cornelius 

16871692 1703 Nov. 30, 1700 | 

Nov. 23, 1700 

Mr. Needham failed in health some time before his death, 
and his place in Church was supplied by a Curate named 
Daniel Capel, who was afterwards Curate of Cam and Dursley 
for many years, and is buried in Dursley Church. Mr. 
Needham died on August 6th, 171 1-, and was buried in front 
of the Altar to the south of the Halls on August 9th. The 
inscription over his grave is as follows : " In Spe Beata3 
Resurrectionis Positae sunt hie Reliquiae Yiri admodum 
Reverendi Andreas Needham, A.M. Hujus Ecclesise necnon 
adjacentis Capellae de Kingscote per Annos ter-novem Pastoris. 
Qui satur Dierum et maturum Ccelo huic Mundo placide, non 
invitus, Valedixit, sexto Die Aug : 

. ( Salutis Nostrae MDCC[XI] 
Suae T.XTX " 

1 His signature stands at the head of those affixed to the appoint- 
ment of a parochial registrar of which a copy is given at page 146, 
note 1. In the year preceding his death is a curious entry of the 
name of a child transformed from Hester to Easter on account of her 
baptism taking place on Easter Tuesday. " 1683 Easter Wickes, 
daughter of William Wickes and Hester his wife was baptized the 
1 1th day of April being Easter Tewsday. Godfathers, John Shipway, 
sen., of this Parish, and John Sandford of Stanley St. Leonards, 
Godmothers, Elizabeth Bridges of this Parish, and Ann Browning 
of Elmstree. 


Mrs. Needham survived until January 6th, 1726, when, at 
the age of 86, she was laid beside her husband. Their two 
daughters and a son lie under three separate stones southward 
of Mrs. Pury's ; Sibilla, Mrs. Cornelius, having died in child- 
birth. No Rectors of Beverston, or any of the members of 
their families, have since that time been buried in the parish. 

For a long series of eight non-resident Rectors began with 
JOHN SWINFEN [1711-1728], the successor of Mr. Needham. 
He was also Rector of Avening, where he was buried. 
During his Incumbency eight marriages are registered in 
which both men and women resided at Avening. This may 
indicate that he sometimes lived at Beverston and required 
his Avening parishioners to come over to him when they 
wanted his services on week days : but the marriages of 
strangers abound in the registers until quite recent days. 
From 1696 until the end of the century only 4 out of 12 
persons married at Beverston belonged to the parish ; and in 
the preceding 4 years all were strangers. 1 

THOMAS SAVAGE was the next Rector [1728-17. .J. Of his 
appointment there is this record in a newspaper of the time. 
" His Majesty has been pleased to grant to the Rev. Mr. 
Savage the Rectory of Beverston with the Chapel of Kingscot 
in the Diocese of Gloucester, void by the death of the Rev. 
Mr. Andrew Needham" [London Evening Post. May 7-9. 
1728], This is curious, for it altogether passes over the 
incumbency of Mr. Swinfen, as if Mr. Needham, whose death 
had occurred seventeen years before, was the last Rector 
named in the omcial list of Crown appointments. 

1 " Ould Thomas Groom" of the Castle was buried on September 
24th, 1716: but his "sperrit" used to haunt the Castle and its 
precincts. He "walked" through having removed a neighbour's 
landmark ; and his " sperrit used to go rowlling and rattling about as 
big as a 'oolpack." It was seen of that size by an old woman who told 
the story in John Ludlow's hearing when he was a boy, early in the 
nineteenth century. At last the spirit was laid under the old yew 
tree not far from the bridge over the moat. 


Mr. Savage was one of the Tetbury Savages. He probably 
forsook the old Rectory House which stood on the site of the 
present School House, and substituted for it another house 
nearer the Castle which had been occupied by some of those 
" well-to-do " families whose names occur in the early Regis- 
ters. That house, the present Rectory, bears traces of 
considerable antiquity, but over the garden door of it are the 
initials of Mr. Savage TJT^i ,M 9Q indicating that some con- 
siderable alterations _ "__ were made by him. He 
himself is believed to have resided in the house at Tetbury 
belonging to the late Mr. Josiah Paul. 1 

The next six Rectors were appointed through political 
interest : and all " farmed " the Parish, placing a Curate in 
Charge, and residing on other benefices. 

. The Hon. Allen Bathurst [ -1767] was Rector of 

Saperton, and was appointed to Beverston by the interest of 
Lord Bathurst. He was son of the first Earl Bathurst, and 
brother of the great Lord Chancellor of the name, who is 
also known as the friend of Pope. Mr. Bathurst was born in 
1729, and died at the age of 38 in August, 1767, being 
buried in Saperton Church, where there is a tablet to his 

CHAKLES JASPEB. SELWYN [1767-1794] was presented through 
the interest of a relative who was Member for Gloucester. 
He was Rector also of Blockley in Worcestershire [1761- 
1794]. His family was of Maston and has since given the 
distinguished Bishop of New Zealand and Lichfield to the 
Church, as well as Lord Justice Selwyn and the Canon "of 
Ely of the same name ; all of them being his great-nephews. 2 

1 The two Bells were put up during the Incumbency of Mr. Savage. 
They are by Rudhall of Gloucester, the large one being dated 1737, 
and the smaller one having the inscription " COME AWAY MAKE 

2 Mr. Selwyn's great grandson, Captain Selwyn, R.N., is the 
pr.esent head of the family. [See Cam} He was buried at Batsford, 


Augustus Thomas Hupsman [1794-1796] the next Rector 
was also Vicar of Berkeley and was nominated to Beverston 
by the interest of the Earl of Berkeley. He was buried at 

During the Incumbency of these last four Rectors the 
Parish had been in the charge of the Rev. Thomas Hornidge 
who was also Vicar of Coaley and of Norton in Wiltshire. 
He held the Curacy for exactly the same time 'as Mr. Pury 
had held the Rectory, 54 years ; and seems to have been 
regarded with much affection by the parishioners. The 
following particulars of his family are all that can be gathered 
from the Register : 

Thomas Hornidge = Sarah 
17201796 | 17211795 

John Thomas Sarah = John Green William Anne 

17491815 1751 17531788 1756 1758 

Mrs. Hornidge died on January 17th, 1795, and her 
husband on June 25th, 1796. A large slab with their initials 
and those of their son John, covers their grave on the North 
side of the Chancel floor ; and above it on the North wall is 
a marble tablet with the following inscription. " Below this 

two miles from Blockley, but in the county of Gloucester, and on the 
northern slope of the Cotswolds. The following is the inscription 
on his grave : 

Beneath this stone 

are deposited 

the remains 


The Reverend 

Charles Jasper Selwyn, 

33 years Vicar of Blockley 

in the County and Diocese of Worcester, 

Rector of Beverston and Kingscote 

in the County of Gloucester, 

and Prebendary of Sarum, 

who died the 10th day of Sept., 1794, 

in the 67th year of his age. 


monument in the same grave are deposited the remains of the 
Rev. Thomas Hornidge, Clerk, B. A., Vicar of Coaley, in this 
County, and of Norton, in the County of Wilts, and also 
resident Curate of this Parish from the time of his ordination 
in the year 1742 to the time of his death : And of Sarah his 
wife. The latter died on the 17th January, 1795, aged 74, 
and the former on the 21st June, 1796, aged 76." 

JOHN SAVAGE [1796-1803] was also Rector of Weston 
Birt and was appointed to Beverston hy the interest of Earl 
Camden. He lies buried at Tethury, where there is a marble 
slab to his memory on the south wall by the Altar. His 
Curate was the Rev. George Hayward, of whom only this is 
recorded in the Register : 

George Hayward = Charlotte Elizabeth 

George Christopher [Afterwards Rector John St. John 

born Oct. 30, 1797 of Nymphsfield.] bapt. Jan., 1801 

THOIIAS PKTTAT succeeded Mr. John Savage [1 803-1839]. 
He was Rector of Hatherop. An old man, a regular Church 
goer, who lived through most of that time, says that he 
never saw Mr. Pettat in Beverston, and never heard of 
any one who ever saw him there. 

During his Incumbency an Enclosure Act [43 Geo. III. 
ch. 144] was obtained for re-adjusting the lands of the 
Parish and for commuting the Tithes in kind to a Rent 
Charge. The subsequent Award is dated June 30th, 1 804. 

The Curate during the whole time of Mr. Pettat's Incum- 
bency was the Rev. "William Scott Panting, who was also, 
during part of his 36 years residence at Beverston, Curate of 
Lasburough and who kept a school for boys at the Rectory. 1 

1 For many years Sir. Panting oscillated every Sunday between 
Beverston and Kingscote, holding a service in each Church alternately 
in the Morning and the Afternoon. When the Beverston service was 
in the Morning a reminder was given to the Parishioners hy the 
ringing of the Church Bell at 8 o'clock. Those who wished to go to 
Church twice a day walked over to Chavenage ! This with a double 


ALAN GARDNER CORNWALL was the last of the eight non- 
resident Rectors. [1839-^wy 5th. 1872] He was appointed 
by the interest of Lord Dude, and was Chaplain in Ordinary 
to the Queen: also Rector of Newington-Bagpath with 

During Mr. Cornwall's Incumbency he and Sir Michael 
Hicks Beach built the School (most of the stone for which 
came from an old house which stood on the Glebe opposite 
to its site) and the present Lord of the Manor built the 
School House. The Church was restored a generation ago 
in a very liberal spirit by the Lord of the Manor, but 
unfortunately the Architect employed knew but little of 
Church architecture, and so he destroyed old mouldings, 
chiselled over carvings, removed a beautiful screen from the 
Chancel Arch, stuccoed over the interior of the Church with 
plaster and crowned his work with a roof of wonderful design 
bounded by a deep moulding of Plaster of Paris, painted to 
imitate wood, at the wall plate. His bench ends are orna- 
mented with carvings in putty, placed in circles which 
convey a distant idea of " poppy heads : " and cast-iron is 
used for the tracery of seat mouldings in the Chancel. 

During Mr. Cornwall's Incumbency the following Curates 
succeeded Mr. Panting at Beverston. 

Frederick Ford 1 840- 1841 

Thomas H. Vyvyan -1841 

Henry Wybrow 1842-1843 

Thomas J". Lingwood 1843-1848 

H. Knowles ) 

T, j n n 1849-1850 

Rawdon G. Green j 

James Hamilton 1851-1854 

Edward Me Lorg 1855-1865 
Richard Hibbs 1865-1867 

W. H. Kemm Aug. 1869-Mar. 1873. 

Parish from which the non-resident Rector received at least 600 
a year. The Curate received 40 a year. 



JOHN HENRY BLTTNT [1872- ] was the first resident Rector 
for about a century and a half. Although known as a 
Conservative he was nominated to the Crown by Mr. 
Gladstone at the time the latter was head of a Liberal 
Ministry. Before Mr. Blunt was instituted the Chapelry of 
Kingscote was formed into a separate Parish under an Order 
of Council issued some twenty years before. 

William Tugwell 


William Robins 


Lewen Tugwell 


Jacoh Hayward 


John Powell 


William Kilmister 


William Tugwell 


Robert Long 


John Simpkins 


Robert Kilmister 


Jonathan Wickes 


Charles Long 


John Hayward 


James Garlick 


Lewen Tugwell 


William Warner 


John Hayward 




John Philpott 


Jonathan Wickes 

1799 also Churchwarden from 1785 to 1799 

John Stockwell 


Giles Long 


John Frape 


John Ludlow 



This ancient clothing village stretches along in a curve 
from the foot of the Long Down westward and northward for 
nearly two miles, dividing into Upper Cam and Lower Cam 
at the Railway Station, and standing, for a good part of the 
distance, on the Cam brook or " river." The parish was once 
of considerable importance as a place for the manufacture of 
cloth : a manufacture recently revived on an extensive scale, 
and with modern machinery instead of the ancient hand- 
looms. Some eight or ten generations ago Smyth wrote of 
Cam with such glowing enthusiasm that he must have re- 
garded it as a sort of Happy Valley of the Cotswolds. It 
was " a Township soe evenlie partaking of Hill and Vale, 
with an wholesome Aire to both, and so equally furnished of 
Timber and Wood for Buildinge, Fire, and all Bootes in 
Husbandrie ; with Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Grounde, 
for the Feed and Breed of all Sorts of Cattell ; with Fish, 
Fowle, Perry, Cyder, and the like, that it would abundantly 
suffice for the Maintenance and Well-beinge of its own 
Inhabitants without Supply from any other, in any needful 
Thing which the Hart of Man would moderately desire." 
Who would not wish to have lived in Cam in those days ! 
The neighbourhood bore so high a character for fertility that 
" As for pasturage," says Fuller, " I have heard it reported 
from credible persons that such is the fruitfulness of the land 
nigh Slimbridge, that in spring time let it be bit bare to the 
roots, a wand laid along therein over night will be covered 
with new grown grass by the next morning" [Fuller's 
Worthies, 349.]. The canny King James capped this asser- 


tion by declaring that he knew a field in Scotland where, if a 
horse was turned in on a Sunday it would be in vain even to 
look for him on the Monday ! 

Why this favoured village was called Cam is obvious to all 
who believe that Gloucestershire names are akin to those of 
Wales. The stream which passes through the midst of it is 
a crooked stream, the roads of the parish are crooked roads, 
the heights around are crooked in their sky-line, and " Cam." 
in Welsh means nothing more nor less than " crooked " itself. 
If Mr. Planche had seen the valley and its curving stream 
before he had dipped his pen into the Cornish Camel would he 
not rather have written of our little Cam than of it 
" Who can wonder crooked river, 
Once that thou hast found thy way in 
Thou shouldst use thy best endeavour 
Such a paradise to stay in." 

But a little lower down the Cam river than the village of 
Cam the name " Cambridge " is found, and as Slimbridge is 
the name of the adjoining parish it is not unlikely that 
Cambridge was originally the full name and Cam an abbrevi- 
ation. Now the name of Cambridge is to be traced as far back 
as a thousand years ago, when it is mentioned in association 
with the Danes ; and it appears to have been at the time of 
the Danish occupation of East Anglia that " Grantabricg " 
began to be known as Cambridge, and the Granta as the 
Cam. " There is a river at Macedon and there is also, 
moreover, a river at Monmouth " said Fluellen " 't is so like 
as my fingers is to my fingers, and there is salmons in both :'' 
and though there are no " salmons " in either Cam at this day 
the names of the two rivers are " so like as my fingers is to 
my fingers," and in each case seem to point to a Danish 
rather than a British origin. " Upthorpe," the name of an 
ancient manor in the Gloucestershire parish, has also a ring 
of the East Anglian tongue about it ; while " The Thing," 


which was the old name of a house lately destroyed at Cam 
Green seems to carry us as directly back to a Scandinavian. 
Council chamber as " The Mote " of Downton near Salisbury 
carries us back to the Witenagemote. 

The earliest historical trace of the locality is in connection 
with a defeat sustained there by the Danes in the year 903. 
Ethelward, the early English chronicler, says that in that 
year " the tempestuous hosts of the barbarians " laid waste the 
lands of the Mercians " as far as the river Avon," which then 
as now formed "the boundary between the West Angles " 
of Somersetshire "and the Mercians" of Gloucestershire. 
" They passed thence towards the west of the river Severn and 
obtained no small booty by their ravages. Afterwards they 
returned homewards, rejoicing in the riches of their spoils, 
and crossed in regular order over a bridge on the eastern bank 
of the Severn which is commonly called Cambridge. 1 Here 
the troops of the Mercians and West Angles suddenly met 
them in battle array, an engagement immediately followed 
and the English obtained the palm of victory on the plain of 
Wodensfeld, the Danish army being driven to flight by the 
darts of the English These events are recorded as occurring 
on the fifth day. of August" [A.D. 903], "and their three 
Kings, named Halfdene, Eowyls, and Igwar, fell in that 
tumultuous fight." Where the plain of Wodens-field may 
have been there is nothing to show, but as it is probable that 
many names of places which begin with the syllable " Wood " 
were originally names beginning with the name of the god 
"Woden, it is a not unreasonable conjecture that Woodchester 
Park, about two miles east, is the ancient battle-ground of 
Woden' s-field, having also been previously the " castra" of a 
Roman detachment from the adjacent camp on Uley Bury. 

1 The battle of Quatbridge near Bridgenorth, with, which that of 
Cambridge has been confused, was fought some time before the 
death of King Alfred, in the year 896. 

2 N 


When Cam appears in history as a parish it is as part of the 
original, or great, Manor of Berkeley, and the representative 
of Fitz-Harding is therefore Lord of the Manor. But lands 
were held in Cam for at least three centuries by a family of 
Hardings of whom there is no record in the Fitz-Harding 
genealogies given by Smyth. The descent of the heirs and 
heiresses of this family was as follows : 

HARDING of Cam. 

Ralph de Cam, died 16 Edw. I. A.D. 1287. 

Lucia = John Hay-ward 


Joan = John Oswater of Alkerton 

Margaret = Thomas Harding 

"William, died 37 Henry YHI. A.D, 1545. 
Richard, died I. Eliz. A.D. 1558. 
George, of Hall Place and Draycotts in A.D. 1604. 

Hall Place was sold by George Harding," whose principal 
Manor was then at Coaley, to a Herefordshire family of the 
name of Hopton. In 1689 William Hopton, Gentleman, 
appears as selling the " Vennings," more recently called the 
" Manor House," to John Phillimore ; the sale being men- 
tioned in the marriage settlement of John Phillimore the 
younger. A later member of the family, Mrs. Frances 
Hopton, gave her Draycott Estate for the support of a school 
for the parish, and her other lands in Cam to a relative 
named Hadley. Most of the parish is now the property of 
Lord Fitzhardinge. 


The Benefice of Cam belonged in the twelfth century to the 
Abbey of Reading, having being granted to it by Matilda the 
queen of Henry I. But the Abbey of Gloucester had a prior 
claim which the monks maintained successfully against those 
of Reading, and it remained in their possession until the 
Dissolution of the Monastery, when it was transferred to the 
See of Gloucester. The patronage still belongs to the Bishop 
of the Diocese, but the great tithes, which constitute the 
Rectory of the Parish, are in private hands. 

The earliest record of the Church is that it was enlarged 
by Thomas Horton, the 18th Abbot of Gloucester. It was re- 
built by Thomas Lord Berkeley, the rebuilder of Beverston 
Castle and Church, about the year 1340. In that year Lord 
Berkeley is also said by Smyth to have founded chantries in 
the Chapels of Newport, Wortley, and Cambridge in Glouces- 
tershire, making special arrangements for the masses and 
prayers there to be said, and for the regulation of the lives 
and conduct of the Chaplains ; forbidding them to take money 
of any or to be servant to any but God in spiritual matters 
and to himself in temporal concerns : enjoining them to live 
chastely and honestly, and not to come to markets, alehouses, or 
taverns, nor frequent plays or unlawful games : and " all this," 
adds the historian of the Berkeleys, writing in 1618, "he did 
in so devout and holy a manner, that unless he had been a dis- 
ciple of Wickliff who now lived, he could not have come nearer 
to the doctrine of the Church of England in these days." 

The Church is said to have been originally dedicated in the 
name of St. George, and a story is told by Atkyns of a 
clothier who stole a statue of the saint from the porch and 


carried it in his waggon to Colebrook where it was set up as 
the sign of an inn. The present dedication is that of St. 
Mary, but in the modern restoration of the Church a very 
good sculptured boss of St. George and the Dragon has been 
placed in the stone vaulting of the porch to commemorate 
the old tradition. 

As it now stands the Church consists of a Nave and Aisles 
of work dating principally from the fifteenth century, but 
with modern roofs ; of a very fine Tower belonging to the 
same date ; and of a modern Chancel, in the decoration of the 
interior of which colour has been judiciously used on the 
ceiling. The Chancel arch is supported on corbels and three 
short columns, and a wooden screen no doubt occupied the 
opening. But as the latter is much narrower than the 
Chancel itself the wall on either side has been pierced with 
lights, or " squints," for the purpose of giving the congre- 
gation in the Nave and Aisles a more complete view of the 
service going on at the Altar. Before the restoration of the 
Church there were two such lights on either side, but a third 
has been added on the south side, and has increased the 
screen-like effect of the whole. The Font is a circular bowl 
of early date, ornamented with a beautiful string-moulding 
of nail heads, and standing on a modern base of five columns. 
The pulpit and altar- table are interesting specimens, of late 
Jacobean work. On the walls of the Church, and in its floor, 
are many costly marble monuments, which show the former 
prosperity of the local manufacture. 

Among the monuments on the south wall there is one on 
which were formerly the arms of Selwyn : Argent, on a bend 
cottised Sable three annulets Or. An inscription remains 
" In memory of three Children, viz. : "William William and 
Sarah (of Jasper Selwyn of this Parish Gent : and Eleanor 
his wife) whose Remains were in this Isle deposited : of the 
1st on the 18th September 1726, The Second the 1st of July 
1727, And ye third the 22nd of Dec. 1730." Two other 


sons, both named John, were baptized on April 30th, 1735, 
and July 27th, 1736, but there are no further entries. The 
name has become famous in Church and State in modern 
times, in the persons of Sir Charles Jasper Selwyn, the Lord 
Justice of Appeal, the venerable Bishop of New Zealand and of 
Lichfield, and the learned Canon of Ely. [See also p. 160.] 

The most notable features in the exterior of the Church are 
the parapet of the Nave roof, which is similar to that around 
the choir of Tewkesbury Abbey, and the beautiful Tower, 
which, although small, is equal in proportion and general 
character, to the famous towers of Somersetshire. At the 
foot of the south east buttress of the tower is an admirably 
carved dragon, almost " as large as life," a ram's head and a 
bull's head occupying similar positions on the western but- 
tresses. The heads of a king and bishop are no doubt in- 
tended to represent the contemporary monarch, perhaps 
Edward III., and the then Bishop of Worcester, perhaps 
John Thoresby. Two well-carved gurgoyles may also be 
observed, the one a horse's head, and the other a demon 
playing on a pipe. The spandrils of the arch surmounting 
the western door contain shields bearing the cross of St. 
George and the arms of the Berkeleys. 

One of the steps which lead to the belfry of the tower is 
formed of a portion of an early fifteenth century grave stone, 
on which are still to be traced the floriated arms of a cross 
and the fragmentary inscription 

This was probably a memorial placed above the grave of one 
of the Harding ladies whose Christian name was Amice. 

In the churchyard there are many tombs of the Phillimore 
family of which some account is given further on. Near to 
these at the east end of the Church there is also a table tomb 


of considerable archaeological interest. Its date is 1685 and 
it is supposed to stand over the grave of one Perrott who 
died in that year, and the manner of whose death is com- 
memorated by a sculpture on the side of the monument. 
This sculpture represents a man driving a plough, the costume 
of the man and the form of the plough being carved with a 
force and detail which make them valuable as contemporary 
illustrations. The chain by which the horses were drawing 
the plough has suddenly snapped and part of it is flying back 
above the plough towards the head of the ploughman : there 
being also a single link of the chain close behind his head. 
On the sides of this panel are two other panels containing the 
usual skull, hour-glass, and cross bones of the period. The 
tradition connected with this sculpture is that it represents 
the death of a farmer who was ploughing on a Sunday, and 
who was killed by a part of the plough chain thus striking 
his head: the accident being regarded as a judgement upon 
him for breaking the fourth Commandment. 

On the north-west side of the Church is a tombstone 
bearing the following inscription, " In memory of Joseph 
White of this parish, Thatcher, who died the 1 2th of June 
1837 aged 103 yrs. This stone is erected by the Right 
Honourable Lord Segrave to perpetuate so remarkable an 
instance of longevity." The baptism of Joseph White is not 
traceable in the Parish Register. 

There was once a Hospital for a Master and several brethren 
at Cam, an institution 'similar to the Charter House in 
London, or St. Cross at Winchester, but on a smaller scale. 
It was founded by Robert Lord Berkeley at the end of the 
twelfth century, and was given to Gloucester Abbey by 
Thomas Lord Berkeley in the year 1224. At the Dissolution 
of the Monasteries the endowment and buildings of this 
benevolent institution were made over to some nobody named 
Hodges, a public charity being thus confiscated to private use. 


RICHARD SMITH 1569 1581 

HUGH PARSONS 15821598, buried at Cam on May 

16th, 1598. 

JOHN CHURCHMAN June 19th, 1598. June 19th, 1614. 
JOHN PHILLIPS 1615 1618. 

WILLIAM SMITH 16181629. 
DOSITHEUS WYER 1633 June, 1635. 
JOHN KNIGHTON 1635 1636. 
THOMAS DAVIS 16361640. 

TOBIAS HIGGINS, Jan. 1st, 1638 1652, buried at Cam on 

December 2nd, 1652. 

WILLIAM HARDINGE, 1653 1664. The Parish Register re- 
cords that on March 2nd, 1663 1664 there " was 
buried that painfull and faithful Pastor and servant 
of Jesus Christ mr William Hardinge the ablest 
gospell preacher that ever Cam parish enioyed." 
There was also formerly the following inscription 
engraved on a brass plate, and placed on the North 
wall of the Chancel : 

" Hie jacet in occiduo cinere 


In Artibus Magister, Theologus tarn Doctrina 

Quam pietate eximius, concionator felicissimus, 

Pastor fidelis, maritus amantissimus, parens 

indulgens : post varia studia, quibus fideliter 

nee infeliciter incubuit, instinctu et impulsu 

Spiritus Sancti, monitu et hortatu amicorum, 

ordines sacros amplexus, et cura pastorali 

hujus Ecclesiae Camae indutus anno sui Jesu 

1654, Decanatumque Durslaei Ruralis Decanus : 

vitae officiis et omnibus curis, 



Morte exutus die Dominico 
Mane ultimo Februarii, Anno 

Domini 1663, retat. 39. 

In Memoriam hujus Reverendi Viri, 

Chara pariter et pia uxor Dorothea 

Hoc posuit Monumentum. 

His widow, ten years younger than himself, was laid by his 
side at the age of 68 in 1702." 
JOHN BARNSDALE, August llth, 1664 1680-1. Was buried 

at Cam on February 9th. 

THOMAS STEATFOBD, April 16th, 1681 1707-8. Was buried 
at Cam on March 3rd. His monument is against a 
pillar with the inscription, " Before this Place lies 
the Body of Thomas Stratford, Vicar of this Parish 
25 years. He died March 1, Anno Dom. 1707, 
aetatis sure 64." 

EDWARD TURNER, 1708 1718. The following inscription to 
his memory was formerly against the South Wall of 
the Chancel : 

" Near this Place lieth the Body of EDWARD TURNER, 
Vicar of Cam, and also sometime Vicar of Dursley. In both 
these Places, among other good deeds for which his Zeal was 
eminent, he procured a Charity School. ' He died Feb. 1 3, 
1717, aged 44 years, leaving a mournful widow and nine 
young children to the all sufficient care of Providence. 
Hester his Daughter died March 19, 1717, 

aged 3 years 10 months. 

DANIEL CAPEL, 1718 May 1st, 1737. He was also Curate 
of Dursley, in the Church of which Parish he lies 
buried ; there being a monument to his memory on 
the East End of the North Aisle, surmounted by 
the Capel arms, and stating that he died at 50 years 
of age. 
PETER SENHOUSE May, 1737 1763. 



WILLIAM FKYEE 1801 1835. 

WILLIAM CHAKLES HOLDEE 1835 Nov. 6th, 1837. His 
monument is on the wall of the North Aisle and 
is surmounted by a model of the School in white 

GEOBGE MADAN 18381852. 

B. F. CAELYLE 18521862. 


F. T. PENLEY 1875 


Samuel Pearce 183.56 John Harris 184161 

Thomas Gabb 1835 Samuel Long 18616 

J. T. Cam 18368 John Harris , 18618 

Samuel Gabb . 1836 James Till Barton 18678 

Stephen Robinson 183740 A. B. Winterbotham 186971 

Thomas Morse 1839 George Harris 186975 

Henry Dartnell 1840 Ignatius Dark 1872 

Thomas Gabb 184161 

The Parish Register. 

It is often found that Clergymen and Parish Clerks have 
registered other things than Births, Deaths, and Marriages, 
in the very important volume or volumes in which these are 
recorded. Sometimes the Clergyman has had an historical 
mind and has given curt notices here and there of public 
events; or he has attached personal memoranda to the names 
registered, and in both cases he has probably rendered a 
service to posterity. The Parish Clerk's memoranda have 
usually been of a personal character, recording that such an 
one was " a vagrant," another " a sectary," or " presbriterian," 
and a third " a igorant man." There is not much of this in 
the Cam Eegister, but there are yet some peculiarities which 
are of interest. 

The Eegister is all written in contemporary hands, but the 
present title, in a beautiful Church text reads as follows : 

o 2 


" A register of all chrisnings weddings and burialls which 
have bene in the parish of Cam since the yeare of our 
Lord 1569. Renewed by Maurice Trotman and Henry Alye 
churchwardens for the yeare of or Lord 1621." l 

It is quite certain that the renewal here spoken of was not 
that of copying into the present book the records of an older 
register ; but it may possibly mean that the book was re- 
bound in 1621. The register is undoubtedly an original one, 
and few are found of an earlier date. 

The earlier entries, for twelve years, were all made by 
Richard Smith, the first Vicar after the Reformation. 
Having a taste for epigram he headed each of the three 
portions of the Register with a Latin couplet The first of 
these is an exhortation to each one who is baptized in Christ 
to put on Christ, lest original or wilful sin should burden 
and press down the soul. 

" Christenings 

" Indue te christum qui baptizaris in ipsum : 
Ni proprio premeris crimine, seu patrio." 

The second seems to be a commentary on the wise man's 
saying that " a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband," 
and his exclamation " give me any wickedness but the 
wickedness of a woman." There is nothing better, it de- 
clares, than a good woman, nothing worse than a bad one : 
the one excels in every thing that is good, the other in every 
thing that is evil. 

" Weddings 

" Nil melius muliere bona, nil est mala peius : 
Omnibus ista bonis praestat, et ilia malis." 

The third is a sententious declaration that death destroys 
all distinctions among men, dragging those who are the most 

1 In the Christenings part of the Register, p. 19, "Mr. John Try " 
is written over an erasure as the Churchwarden's name in 1621. In 
the Wedding part, at p. 77, Henry Alye signs his own name. 


dissimilar into one common condition, making the master 
equal with the servant, and levelling the sceptres of Kings 
with the mattocks of labourers. 

" Burialls 

" Mors dominum servo, mors sceptra ligonibus sequat : 
Disimiles simili conditione trahens." 

Five pages of the Register, pages 63-68, are occupied 
with a list of Parish Officers ; namely, Churchwardens from 
1599, Overseers from 1614, Tithingmen and Constables from 
1639, Surveyors of Highways from 1646, all going on to 
1685. The list is continued in the first twenty-six pages of 
the Churchwardens' account book down to 1739. 

At page 84 of the Eegister there is also a carefully com- 
piled Table giving a summary of the Baptisms, Weddings, 
and Burials registered from 1569 to 1679. Opposite the years 
1641 1648 is the memorandum, " No Weddings registered 
all these eight yeares. Few Christenings or Burials regis- 
tered all these eight yeares in the heate of the warre. And 
in the yeares 4 1 , 45, 46, no Burials at all Registered. Part 
of the time of the Civil warre which was not quite ended 
till 1660." This is in John Barnsdale's writing, who began 
every year from 1665 with the entry of the year of Charles 
II. reign and ended it with a summary of the Baptisms, 
Marriages, and Burials, repeated in each register. 

A similar Table to the above, but of Burials alone, occu- 
pies page 124. It reaches from 1570 to 1668 : and as there 
was some room to spare it is filled up with the following 
verses : 

" Est homo flos, gramen, cinis, umbraq., pulvis et aura : 

Somnus, bulla, vapor, ventus, inane, nihil. 

Cursus Fortune rotatur imagine Luna3 : 

Crescit, decrescit, constans consistere nescit. 

Man is a Flour, a Shade, Grasse, Ashes, Dust, and Aire ; 

A Bubble, Vapour, Sleepe, Wind, Toy, Nought, 

though now so fair. 


Much like ye Moone, so rolleth Fortune's "Wheele : 
It waxeth, wanes, unconstant doth it reele." 

About this time one of the four Lecturers of Dursley was 
named Fortune, and there were also Fortunes of North 
Nibley who intermarried with the Phillimores of Cam. 
Whether the poetical Vicar had them in view when he wrote 
the second of these couplets is not on record. Nor has the 
pen of scandal recorded whether any further meaning than 
appears underlay the following entry in 1697. "Moses a 
poor childe left by an unknown party at Lower Cam was 
"baptized Aug. 7th, and being casually found was named 
Fortune." Of the fortunes of poor Moses Fortune in later 
life no trace is to be found in the Register. But Moses 
Fortune was not the first unfortunate child thus treated in 
Cam; for in 1680 is this long entry: " Ignotus a poore 
child left by an unknown party at Lower Cam, on a Leaping 
Stone before Thomas Pope his gate in the Streete was bap- 
tized at Cam Nov. 21st, and from that stone surnamed Stone, 
but since found to be the son of Hannah the daughter of 
James Clerk Baker in Berkeley." Had she brought the child 
all the way from Berkeley to lay it at " Thomas Pope his 
gate." ? At any rate the poor little waif was sent back 
again, for a memorandum is inserted among the burials that 
" Ignotus Leapingstone who had been baptized at Cam on 
Nov. 21st, had been buried at Berkeley on Dec. loth, next 

The year 1668 was remarkable for the number of deaths 
which occurred in the Parish. The average number for 85 
years only amounted to 12, though it occasionally rose above 
20 : but in 1668 as many as 41 deaths are recorded. A note 
is appended saying, " This hath been the greatest yeare of 
mortality so far, of any these last Hundred yeares," but no 
reason is assigned, nor is there any accumulation of numbers 
at any particular time of the year, to indicate an epidemic. 



In a later volume of the Register the most remarkable 
entry is that which records that six young people of one 
family were all baptised together on March 24th, 1779, 
namely " James, Robert, John, Esther, Sarah, and Hannah, 
sons and daughters of Henry and Dorcas Hill." 

The Scripture names used in this family may remind us 
before parting with the Register of Cam to notice the very 
common use of Scriptural Christian Names during the middle 
part of the last century. Before the Great Rebellion they 
were not more frequently used than at the present day ; nor 
afterwards until after the first third of the eighteenth century 
had passed. About the middle of the century thirty are 
found at one opening of the Register in which the whole 
number of entries only amounts to sixty; including the 
burials of persons christened at a much earlier date : and 
the following are found within a space of about one gener- 
ation : 











































Andrew Stephen Aquila Phoebe 

Lazarus Nicholas Priscilla Eunice 

Mary Cornelius Epaphroditus Khoda 

Martha Paul Dorcas Lois (9 times). 

Joanna Luke Lydia 

Matthias Timothy Tabitha 

This general adoption of Scripture Names seems to have 
been influenced by Methodism. In one family there occur 
within the space of one generation those of Seth, Isaac, 
Joseph, Hannah, Samuel, Bathsheba, Solomon, Nathan, 
Daniel, and Susannah : and another branch of the same family 
may be taken separately for the purpose of illustrating the 
point more particularly in the form of a genealogical table. 

Josiah = Elizabeth 

John Mary Rachel Shadrach Ann Meshach Noah Elizabeth Lydia 

1737 1739 1742 1744 1747 1749 > , ' 1754 

[This is 1751 
repeated in 
1764, 1802, 1804] 

In this case the Methodist influence is clearly shown, 
"Whitfield and John Wesley being in their glory in Gloucester- 
shire from Rachel's birth to that of Lydia. 

Some other peculiar names to be found during the same 
period are Julian, Marmaduke, Leander, Guy, Benedict, 
Philadelphia, Mirandah, Battah, Purina, Celia, Robertiana, 
Christian, Grace, Patience, and Prudence. 

The writer can add out of many within his own experience 
that of a labourer's child whom he had to christen " Calliopeia 
Rosa Selina:" and of another baby respecting which the 
answer given by the mother when he said " Name this Child " 
was, " Aint he a dear little lump, Sir ! " 



Legislation in matters connected with the Church has often 
taken an odd turn since it got so much into the hands of 
Parliament. The wisdom of the House of Commons once 
provided that Lent should be .carefully observed throughout 
the land for the encouragement not of piety but of the 
fisheries. It levied a heavy duty on the marriages of Bishops 
and Archbishops. It imposed a duty the stamp is still 
to be seen with its rose and crown and " III PENCE" in 
some of our Parish Registers on the registration of every 
Baptism, Marriage, or Burial, under a penalty of 5, the 
Clergy being privileged to receive two shillings in the pound 
for collecting the tax ! [23 Geo. III. ch. 67.] But perhaps 
no such odd legislation was ever so enduring and vexatious 
as that which required the burial of man, woman, and child 
in Woollen for the encouragement of the woollen and paper 
trades. The Parish Register of Cam contains unusually full 
material for illustrating the operation of this vexatious law ; 
and as it has been nearly forgotten, except by antiquaries, 
though it was in force until within a few months of the 
Battle of Waterloo, the reader may be interested in an 
account of it. 

The first law on the subject [18 Car. II. ch. 4], was 
passed in the year of the Great Fire of London, 1666, but 
as the Legislature had neglected to provide efficient means 
for putting it in force it was never obeyed. Eleven years 
later, therefore, another Act was passed. [30 Car. II. ch. 
3.] repealing the former, imposing a penalty, and encou- 
raging informers by the offer of an ample reward. The 
preamble of this Act states that its predecessor "was in- 
tended for lessening the importation of linen from beyond 
the seas, and for the encouragement of the woollen and 
paper manufactures of this kingdom, had the same been 
observed." But "in respect there was not a sufficient 


remedy thereby given for the discovering and prosecution of 
offences against the said Act," it had become necessary to 
replace it by one of a more stringent character. This second 
Act was further amended by another of two years later date, 
entitled " An Additional Act for burying in woollen " 
[32 Car. II. ch. 1.]. 

The law, as thus settled in 1677 and 1680, enacted that 
no dead body should be buried in any material that was not 
made from sheeps' wool, under a penalty of 5. It required 
that, within eight days after burial, if it had not been done 
earlier, an affidavit should be " sworn and sealed " before a 
Justice of the Peace declaring that the person buried " was 
not put in, wrapped or wound up, or buried, in any shirt, 
shift, sheet, or shroud made or mingled with flax, hemp, silk, 
hair, gold, or silver, or other than what is made of sheeps' 
wool only ; nor in any coffin lined or faced with any cloth, 
stuff, or any other thing whatsoever made or mingled with 
flax, hemp, silk, hair, gold, or silver, or other material than 
what is made of sheeps' wool only." If this affidavit was 
delivered to the Clergyman he had to make an entry to that 
effect in the registration of the burial. If it was not de- 
livered to him within eight days after burial the Clergyman 
was required to inform the Churchwardens and Overseers of 
the Parish, who forthwith were to take out a warrant for the 
recovery of 5 penalty from the responsible survivors ; the 
money to be obtained by distress if it was not paid at once, 
and to be divided between the informer and the poor of the 

For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Act 
in Dursley and in its neighbourhood some directions were 
given by John Smyth, Esq., a local Magistrate, who was 
probably the son of Mr. Smyth the Historian of the Berkeley 
family; and a copy of these is written on page 143 of the 
Cam Register. They are as follow : 


" Directions given by John Smyth Esqr &c. to the Town 
of Dursley. 

The Title of the Register Book mentioned in the Act to be 

made anew in every parish for burying in woollen only. 
A Register of the Parish of Dursley in the County of Glouc. 
of such as have bin Buried in woollen, pursuant to the Act 
of Parlmt. 

The Certificate to the Minister within 8 dayes. 
A. B. Buried in woollen only the day of Aug. 1678, 

as appeareth by the Affidavit of C. D. E. ff. sworn before 
John Smyth Esqr. one of his Maties Justices of the Peace 
&c : the day of Aug : aforesaid. 

To follow this Certificate, enter this Burial thus in the 

Register Book. 

J. S. daughter of G. L. yeoman, Buried in woollen, prout 
Lex postulat, the day of Aug: 1678, as by the 

Affidavit of E. ff. G. H. appeareth sworn before John Smyth 
Esqr. &c: the day of 1678. 

The Ministers Certificate to the Churchwds and Overseers 

of the Poore, when no such Affidavit is brought to him 

within 8 dayes. 

I Edward Towgood Minister of Dursley do hereby certify 
to the Churchwds and Overseers of the Poore of Dursley 
aforesd that Marrian the wife of Willm Chamberlain of 
Dursley aforesayd Clotheworker was Interred in the Church 
yard of Dursley aforesayd the 7th day of this Instant August ; 
but no Certificate thereof that it was done in woollen only 
pursuant to the Act of Parlmt hath been brought unto me 
within dayes 8 of the sayd Interment. In witnesse whereof 
I have hereunto sett my Hand the day of 1678." 

These authoritative directions of one of his Majesty's 
Justices of the Peace had no sooner reached Cam than they 
were put in practice by the Vicar of Cam of that day, John 
Barnsdale, a man of great exactness as the Register shows, 


and one ready to show a good example of obedience to the 
law as most of us are when the law is to our advantage. 

Travelling back to page 129 of the Parish Register we 
find John Barnsdale carefully putting a new Title to his 
register, but it is amusing to see the three sceptical words 
with which he ends it, and which show that he expected 
the law would be disobeyed. 

" Here followeth the Register of such as have been Buried 
at Cam in the County of Glouc. in woollen, pursuant to 
ye late Act of Parliamfr, Caroli Ildi Tricesimo : or should so." 
Perhaps he and one of his principal parishioners bad been 
talking the matter over, and he knew what to expect : for 
certain it is that the very first entry discloses a law abiding 
Vicar and a law resisting parishioner. Antiquaries may be 
grateful to both, for this is probably the most circumstantial 
account on record of the practical operation of the Act. 

"William, ye son of Willm and Jane Phinimore of Cam 
was buried in the Church-yard of Cam aforesaid, the 
sixteenth day of August, 1678. But no certificate thereof 
that it was done in woollen only, pursuant to the Act 
of Parlmt was brought unto the Vicar officiating in the 
sayd Parish, within 8 dayes of the sayd Intermt, with the 
Affidavit of two credible witnesses. 

Whereupon Aug : 24th instant the sayd Vicar gave 
notice thereof in writing under his hand to ye Chchwdns 
and Overseeres of ye Poore of Cam, who, Aug : 26th 
instant had a warrant granted them by John Smyth Esqr. 
one of his Maties Justices of ye Peace &c : for Levying 
the {forfeiture of ffive Pounds on the Goodes and Chattels 
of Willm Phinimore before mentioned. 

Whose Goodes were accordingly endeavoured to be dis- 
trained upon : but without distresse made he payd ye same, 
viz one moiety to ye use and benefit of the Poore of Cam : 
namely to Mary Hitchins wid., Sarah Sawby wid., John 


Perrot's wife, Daniel Dowsell's wife : Thomas Wood's wife, 
10s. apiece. And the other moiety thereof was on the 
same day, viz Sept 6th, payd to ye use of John Barnsdale 
Vicar of Cam, who informed." 

One may hope that no uncomfortable feelings disturbed the 
future intercourse between Mr. Phinnimore and his Vicar. 
The very next burial entered is that of Daniel Phillimore 
Senior, late of the parish of Berkeley ; and John Phillimore 
of Cam, sen. yeoman, aged 91, was buried in 1680 : but it 
does not appear that Mr. William Phinnimore required any 
further service of the kind for his immediate family before 
the time came when this entiy also had to be made, " Mr. 
John Barnsdale, late Minister of Came, was buried in the 
Chancell in the Parish Church of Came aforesaid in sheep 
wooll only february the 9. 1680, as appeareth by the Affi- 
davit of William Comock of Cam aforesaid, broad- weaver and 
Joan Killemister of the same singell wooman sworne before 
John Smyth Esqre ye 9th Instant 1680." On Aug. 10th 
1684 Robert son of William Phillimore " was buried in 
woollen only in witness whereof Mary Lacy and Jane 
Phillimore sware and sealed Aug. 17. 1684." 

But the law was, in fact, so vexatious that many persons 
preferred to disobey it first, if they were allowed, and pay 
the fine of 5 afterwards : though it is said that constables 
would sometimes enter a house and require the linen shroud 
- to be removed from a corpse prepared for burial ; and that at 
the end of the Burial Service the parish clerk would call out 
" who makes affidavit ? " and that such unseemly interference 
with people at the saddest time of their lives took place 
quite up to the close of the last century. There were, 
however, doctrinnaires even in those days ; and one of them 
wrote, so late as 1800, that it was an excellent law which 
saved 200,000 Ibs. annually " from untimely corruption in 


the grave " and passed them " to the hands of the manufac- 
turers of paper." [Monthly Mag. 1800.] But the law 
gradually fell into desuetude in many places and bore so 
unfairly upon those on whom it was still enforced that in 
1814 it was repealed [54 Geo. Ill ch. 108]; penalties 
already incurred, but not paid, being remitted. 

Meanwhile those who disliked being put to rest in the 
grave like ordinary mortals had somehow contrived to drive 
through the Act of Parliament boldly. 

" ' Odious ! in Woollen ! t'would a saint provoke ! ' 
Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke 
' No, let a charming chintz, and Brussels lace, 
Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face : 
One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead 
And Betty give this cheek a little red.' " 
The lady of whom Pope wrote these caustic lines [Moral Ess. 
Ep. j.] was a famous actress named Oldfield, who was buried 
in Westminster Abbey, in the year 1731, in " a Brussels lace 
head-dress, a Holland shift with tucker and double ruffles of 
the same lace, and a pair of new kid gloves." 

On the other hand there are parts of the country, as the 
North of England, where there is a prejudice against using 
any other material than woollen for burial ; and new flannel 
shrouds ornamented with black ribbons are there almost 
universal. Whether this feeling springs from the custom 
originated by Act of Parliament, or whether it has a more 
ancient origin, is worth enquiry. 

The Churchwardens' Book. 

This is not of so much interest as the Parish Register, 
nor so valuable for its historical memorials as the Church- 
wardens' book of the adjoining Parish of Dursley. 

It begins with the date April 21st, 1726, and ends on 
May 10th, 1842 : and the first entry consists of the following 


piece of parochial poetry ; the first four lines being on the 
front, and the rest on the back of the Title page. 

" Vain world ! Thou nought but frequent changes rings 

Time wears out Registers of Men and Things. 

The old grows useless, and neglected lie 

Its fate consigns it to obscurity." 

" Man's gay and active days does soon decline 

His meridian sun has but a short shine 

Cyphers may almost sum up his short span 

So vain and fleeting is the life of man 

His time does hasten with rapidity 

To be absorbed in Eternity." 

Following the title page there is a valuable " register of 
Officers in ye parish of Cam from 1690 to 1739" which 
occupies twenty-six pages. Here are registered the names of 
the Churchwardens, Overseers, Supervisors (or Highway Sur- 
veyors), Constables, and Tythingmen. A still earlier list is 
written at the end of the earliest register of Christenings, 
which carries back the list of Parish Officers to the year 
1599 : and perhaps there are few parishes which can boast of 
such a list for so long a period as two and three quarter 
centuries. In the list of these officers the names of Tyndale 
and Huchens frequently occur as they do in the Parish 
Register of the adjoining parish of Stinchcombe ; and, as is 
well known William Tyndale, the translator of the New 
Testament into English in the reign of Henry VIII., used 
the name of Hutchens as an alias, a fact which seems to 
confirm the tradition that he was connected with this district 
of Gloucestershire. 

There are not many entries of interest in the Church- 
wardens' accounts, but the following may be thought worth 
record in type. 

1725 "For goeing to Gloucester to stop process when 
presented by Nathll Pope. 3s 6d 


1727 "Mary Terret shall have a Shift and a Horse load 

1730 "For setting stones at ye Tower to prevent playing 

att Balles. 2s. 6d. 
"forapillpot Candelstick 1. 1.0. 

1731 \J. Parker's] " Part of the expense in going apro- 

cessioning 1. 2. 0. 
[Nath. Pope's] Part do do .1. 0. 0. 
In 1737 there is a similar entry of " Expenses for procession- 
ing 1. 4. 0." 

1732 "The Accompt of Jno Phillimore and Wm Roach 

Churchwardens of the Parish of Cam for Our 
Fathers for the Year 1732." 
" Paid for a support in the Middle He of the Church 

for two boxes for briffs 4s." 

From this it appears that Briefs were sometimes responded 
to by the people putting their money, or not putting it, into 
boxes similar to alms boxes. This may have been the way 
in which the penny was gathered from the parishioners of 
Ormsby for the rebuilding of Dursley steeple [see page 43]. 

1734 " For a Shift for Edith Spencer 3s. 4d. 

1735 "For A Bed and Wool for Oaty's Son and Dafter 

7s 6d. 

1736 " Saml Harding's Money for the Expence of Tho' 

Oaty Familly with the Small pox. 10. 2s. 

" Paid for a new Bible 3. 6. 0." 

" pd for Six foxes 3s 6d." In 1738 four foxes were 
paid for, in 1740 four more, in 1741 six, but the 
price reduced to 3s Od. and in 1744, shocking to 
relate, there is an entry " To Cash pd Mr Gyde's 
Huntsman for a Fox Is. Od." !! In 1745 four 
more are entered, not it is to be hoped to the Hunts- 
man, at 2s Od, and four "polecats" at Is 4d. 
These latter entries are curiously mixed up with payments 


for "2 Bottles of Wine 1 and one loaf 5s Od," and a new 

Prayer Book for the clerk, 15s 0. 

1750 " Pd Wm Davis for 3 Tabels for the Benny Facktions 

1. 5. 0" 

" Pd fer for drawing and gilding the frames 
4. 13. 10." 

1765 April 8th, "Mary Phillimore of Upthrop " was ap- 
pointed Churchwarden for Upper Cam, with 
William Keen, but Samuel Phillimore seems to 
have acted. 

1768 April 4th, Mrs Mary Randolph was appointed Over- 
seer for Lower Cam. 
So advanced was the question of " women's rights" in Cam 

even a century ago. 

1782 New dial for clock 4. 9. 8 

Painting ditto 3. 10. 

Mending and cleaning ditto 11. 

1809 New face to clock and making 

altarpiece 12. 14. 2 

1808 Painting the Dial 5. 15. 6 

1813 Mending the Clock 6. 0. 

1817 "Paid Mr Daw's Bill for 

the King's Arms and Dial " 15. 9. 
The Clock dial was evidently a serious charge upon the 

Church Rates. 

1813 Oct 12. Paid at Citation for prayer for Wellington's 

Victory. 4s Od. 

1814 7 loads of Stone from Hampton Common 17. 3. 4 
Hauling ditto 10. 10. 
This was for the repair of the Church Tower, 

the whole cost being 31. 19. 1. 

1 It is observable that " Taint " and " Tent " Wine are entered at 
an even earlier date than this, showing that the use of this Wine for 
the Holy Sacrament is an old custom. 


1823 The Church was new pewed at a cost of 269, 

subscribed by 30 persons, the Vicar's subscription 
being 21. 
Taint Wine 7. 11. 

1824 " Rd Miles fetching the D: Bass from Nicholls " Is Od. 
3 Strings to the Double Bass 1. 4. 

1825 Mending the Double Bass l. 0. 

1826 Expenses with the double bas 5s. 
1828 Tuning and repairing the organ lls. 

At the end of the book is the following entry, which it is a 
pleasure to put upon permanent record. A similar gift was 
made to Cowley near Oxford about the same time by Bishop 

" June 10th in the Year of our Lord 1823 
On which day the Revel "Win. Fryer, Vicar of the Parish of 
Cam, presented to the Parish a Sacramental Cup and Cover 
or Salver, to be used for private Communion, by the Vicar, 
as occasion may require for the time being for ever. And on 
the Decease of any and every such Vicar, the Churchwardens 
of the said Parish of Cam will be and are hereby empowered 
to demand of the Heirs, Executors, or Administrators of 
every such Vicar the aforementioned Cup &c. And on the 
appointment of a new Vicar shall present the same to him, 
to be used, as previously noticed, and on no other occasion, 
unless they might be particularly wanted when the holy 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper shall be administered in 

"Wm Fryer Vicar 
Thos Morse 

T t Churchwardens 


Thos Gabb Overseer 

Benj. Drew 

Thos Hadley 

Stepn Robinson 

Chas Whittard Junr Vestry Clerk " 



In the days when the present writer was sowing his 
ecclesiastical wild oats in a Fen Curacy, the archaeological 
zeal which time has long tempered led him up a very long 
ladder (during restoration work) to a beam which crossed the 
Nave of the Church some fifty feet above the floor. There 
he found the old oak timber pitted with largish holes, and from 
out of the holes he extracted some lumps of lead. He wa 
making a collection of all curiosities found in the Church, 
and not a few real ones had been found, for preservation at 
the Vicarage, and these lumps of lead were placed in a pill 
box duly labelled, according to received tradition, " slugs from, 
the guns of Cromwell's soldiers, shot at the Royal Arms." 
Not long afterwards on inspecting the recently discovered 
treasures he found the inscription corrected by his commanding- 
officer to " shots from old John Wilkins' gun when slaughter- 
ing the sparrows." Whether the old sexton was a bad shot 
and fired much lead ineffectually at each sparrow, or whether 
sparrows abounded inside the Church and attached them- 
selves fondly to that special beam is not recorded : but it 
is certain that the anti-sentimental Wilkins theory is. 
supported by general evidence of the hostility to sparrows- 
which was formerly borne by Church officers. 

And in these days when Acts of Parliament are called for 
to protect small birds, and handbills setting forth the penalties 
to be paid for disobeying the law are posted up in every 
Church School, it is worth while to show what is on record 
respecting small birds and their treatment a generation or so 
ago in the parish of Cam. 

The sparrows lived as peacefully in Cam until 1819 so far 
as the Churchwardens' accounts show as if they had been 
birds of Paradise : but for the eleven years that followed 
they had a hard time of it, and if they attempted to pick up 
a living anywhere within the parish boundaries, it must 

p 2 



have been under the influence either of great ignorance as to 
the principles of Cam boys and Cam Churchwardens, or of 
such courage as makes brave sparrows like brave men march 
to the mouth of a gun in the course of duty. 

Here is the account of their treatment, as it may be gathered 
from the Churchwardens' book. 


No of Sparrows heads. 

Money paid. 



1 2 2 



3 17 l 





2 19 8 



1 5 10 






2 18 10 



9 4 






7 8 9 



5 15 3 



3 6 9 



2 18 



37 9 6J 

In those days a sparrow was considered to be worth a 
halfpenny: or rather perhaps his "room being" thought 
" better than his company," that was the sum which a 
Churchwarden thought good to pay out of the Church Rates 
to get rid of him. But in 1829 when the Reform Bill was 
looming in the distance the value of the sparrow suddenly 
fell to a farthing. As soon as it was certain that it would 
pass the Cam farmers felt that they would want their money 
for other purposes than sparrows' heads, and so in 1831, the 


payments nearly ceased. From that time until the accession 
of Queen Victoria only about one-tenth of the number of 
birds were paid for compared with preceding years : and 
when our Lady Sovereign raised all virtues to the throne 
that of humanity towards small birds began to prevail, so 
that the price of a sparrow has never since appeared in the 
Church accounts of Cam. 

It was not nice for them to appear in Church accounts at 
all. One would rather the birds should find themselves a 
house of refuge in the Church than that it should be associ- 
ated with their destruction. 

And while the farmers were thus expending the Church. 
Rate the grubs must have laughed from the furrow into the 
faces of their ploughmen : and the wireworms must have 
sung merrily .as they bored into the very hearts of their 


If a family of Church Bells could chime out to us their 
recollections, what stories they might tell even in a country 
parish like Cam, that has never been remarkable for great 

Sometimes, it is true, they would tell us, they have had 
duty to do on great occasions. They never failed to ring out 
on the Fifth of November, so long as there was a general 
belief that 

" There can be no reason 

Why Gunpowder treason 

Should ever be forgot." 

They were once as regular also in commemorating the 29th 
of May. But they had scarcely rang out their harmonies on 
that day in 1763, before discord arose on the subject among 
the Parishioners. A Vestry Meeting was called on June 1st 
at which' " it was agreed not to pay anything for the future 


for ringing on the 29th Day of May, and it was likewise 
agreed that what was paid to the ringers ye 29 of May last 
shall not be allowed." But this temporary discord soon 
passed away, for the ringers were paid their usual five 
shillings for the day in 1764, and in nearly if not all succeed- 
ing years. Much less persistent was the memory of that 
battle at Culloden in 1746, which extinguished all the hopes 
of the Stuarts, for although the bells rang " in remem- 
brance " of it in 1747 and 1748, it seems afterwards to have 
been quite forgotten, at least in the Belfry. Later on the 
Cam family rang their part in the national bell-harmony of 
joy for the great victories of Wellington. Coronation days 
were not forgotten by them : sad national tolling days set 
the deepest toned among them to send forth his solemn wail 
once a minute that it might mingle in the great chorus of 
sorrow: and when England's Princess came home with her 
husband wonderful indeed would it have been if any bells 
had been unwilling to join in the universal marriage peal. 

But the ordinary associations connected with the Church 
Bells of a village are chiefly of a domestic character. Our 
Bell-family would tell us stories of generations who listened 
to their summoning voice as they chimed the hour of prayer 
year after year and age after age ; of those whose childish 
hands had clapped together with laughing joy as they heard 
the merry chimes ; who had walked sunnily forth from the 
Porch when mature years had made the wedding-peal theirs ; 
who later still had followed their elders to the same Porch 
as the great tenor tolled out the last peal for them ; and who 
themselves in time came to their last peal also and heard the 
sound of Bells no more, unless bells make part of the sweet 
music of Paradise. 

" From the Church tower where they dwell, 

Tolls to prayer the passing bell, 

When, with dull and solemn tread, 

Mourners bear to Church their dead, 


Muffled voices sad and low 

From those bells sob out their woe. 

Merry marriage chimes are ringing, 

Mirth on all sides round them flinging ; 

From the Church door softly glide 

Happy bridegroom, blooming bride, 

Young and old around them press, 

Kindly gaze, and fondly bless. 

By those chimings gently shaken 

Hope and memory awaken ; 

Youth hath bright and blissful gleamings 

Of such joy in future dreamings ; 

While the oldest in the train, 

Think that they are young again. 

Happy bells! the heart rejoices 
In their dear familiar voices, 
Loved for all their tender sadness, 
And their full out-spoken gladness ; 
Nor the less beloved when they 
Call us on the Holy Day, 
Or at other week-day times 
Bid to prayer with cheerful chimes." 

But the Bell family of Cam is not one of very ancient date, 
for they only came into existence five human generations ago, 
which is nothing in the family history of Bells, one at 
Claughton in Lancashire being dated 1296, and many as old 
existing. There are five of them now, but the bell cage was 
intended to hold six when it was put up as an inscription on 
it states by " Thomas Church and John Milsom Church- 
wardens, 1679," and so, probably, their ancient predecessors 
were really six in number, but were replaced by five only 
when the present ring was cast in 1710. Tradition has it 
that the sixth bell was translated to Stinchcombe, and per- 
haps tradition may say true. 


Like a very large number of Gloucestershire bells those of 
Cam owe their parentage to the Rudhalls, bell founders of 
Gloucester, who continued to supply Churches with excellent 
bells until 1826, when the old and famous name gave place 
to one now almost as famous in belfries, that of Mears. 

The inscription on each of the five bells tells the story of 
its own birth as follows : 


[Diam. 3ft.] 

2] ABRA: RVDHAXL CAST vs ALL 1710 [Diam. 3ft. 2in.] 

[Diam. 3ft. 3in.] 

4] A: R: 1710. LET vs RING FOR PEACE [Diam. 3ft. 3in.] 


In addition to which inscription each bell bears an orna- 
mental border, of a design found not uncommonly on other 
bells, as well as those of the Rudhalls. 

In older days the inscriptions upon bells were almost 
invariably of a religious character. So near to the time of 
the above as 1681 some of the bells of York Cathedral were 
inscribed with " Jubilate Domino," " Exultate Deo," " Gloria 
in Excelsis Deo : " while a little earlier, in 1 627, is found 
on another bell of the same Church : 

" Sweetly tolling men we call 
To taste on food to feed the soul." 
and in 1599, 

" I will sound and resound to Thy people, Lord, 
With my sweet voice to call them to Thy word." 
When Cam bells come to be re-cast again, here are five 
hints for those who shall have to think about inscriptions 
for them. 


Eighteenth Century Orthodoxy. 

At the end of the Churchwardens' book there is a con- 
temporary copy of a bequest in which the Vicars of Cam 
have an interest, and which is worth reprinting here * as an 
illustration of Churchmanship in the middle of the last 

" Richard Tyler, late of the city of Bristol, Gent., pursuant 
to the will of his brother John Tyler, Gent, (both Natives of 
Berkeley), in the year 1749, gave an Estate, situate in the 
Tything of Hinton, for the following uses, as appears by a 
deed enrolled in Chancery in the year 1750: viz. Thirty 
Shillings to be equally divided between the Clerk and Sexton 
of the Parish Church of Berkeley, for ringing the Bell and 
attending Divine Service as hereinafter directed. The re- 
maining part of the yearly profits to be divided between the 
Ministers of Berkeley, Cam. Wotton-under-edge, Cromhall, 
Tortworth, 'Dursley, and Thornbury, for reading Morning 
Prayer, and preaching seventeen sermons annuallyin Berkeley 
Church on the following Days, and during Lent, on the 
following Subjects: 

1. The Lent Fast. 

2. Against Atheism and Infidelity. 

3. The Catholic Church. 

4. Excellency of the Church of England. 

5. The Defence of the Divinity of our Saviour. 

6. Baptism. 

7. Confirmation. 

8. Confession and Absolution. 

9. Errors of the Church of Rome. 

10. Against Enthusiasm and Superstition. 

1 1 . Restitution. 

12. Attending Public Worship. 

13. Frequenting the Holy Communion. 

14. Repentance. 

1 It is to be found in Bigland's Collections, 157, and in Fosbroke's 
Berkeley Manuscripts, 66. 


Sermons on the first seven subjects to be preached in the 
first year, beginning on Ash- Wednesday, 1750, and on the 
remaining other seven in the following year, and so alter- 
nately and successively for ever. One of the said Sermons to 
be preached by each of the above named Ministers on every 
"Wednesday in Lent, Four of other Ten by the Minister of 
Berkeley, and the remaining Six by the respective Ministers 
of the other parishes aforesaid, on the first Wednesday in 
every succeeding month, within the compass of the year." 

An ancient family whose name has become historical, that 
of Phillimore, was long settled at Cam, where many of their 
tombstones are to seen in the Church and Churchyard, and 
where their name appears in the Parish Register about 250 
times between 1571 and 1825. 

The earliest trace of them in Cam or its immediate neigh- 
bourhood is found in the Records of the Manor of Stinchcombe. 
In 1522 John Fynamore received from the Crown a Lease of 
a Water Corn Mill called Corriett's Mill, afterwards joined 
with a Gigge Mill and a Fulling Mill under the same roof, 
to hold for his life and that of his wife Alice (lately the wife 
of John Tyndale), John and Thomas Fynamore his sons by 
Agnes his former wife, and William Fynamore his son by 
Alice his present wife. John Fynamore himself died in 1532, 
Alice his widow in 1535. The next trace of the family is 
found in a Will which is preserved in the Probate Office at 
Gloucester * This is the will of William ffyllymore of Coaley 
(the next parish to Cam) which was proved on Aug. 12thi 

1 Foxe the Church Historian records the story of Henry Finmore, 
Filmer, or Finnemore, for he spells the name in each way who 
was Churchwarden of Windsor, and a friend of Marbecke the famous 
adapter of the old Church song to the Book of Common Prayer- 
Finnemore was burned to death under the Act of the Six Articles on 
July 3rd, 1543. [Foxe's Acts Hon., v. pp. 488, 993. ed. 1846.] 


1558, and by which his personal property is left in part to 
Thomas and Jane ffylymore his father and mother. This 
Jane was probably the Joan Phinnimore, widow, whose burial 
is entered in the Register on Oct. 31st 1575. Between 
1571 and 1604 there are many entries of sons and daughters 
born to George, Richard, and John Phinnimore, who appear 
to have been three brothers, clothiers, from whom the subse- 
quent members of the family were descended. In the Stinch- 
combe deeds the name is spelt Fynamore, Fynymore, 
Fynemore, Phinnymore, Fyllimore, and Fylymore. It is 
first spelt " Phillimore " in 1640, and from that time both 
forms of the name occur during thirty or forty years, the 
later one alone being used after about 1680 in the Cam regis- 
ters, though the early one is still common in Gloucestershire 
and elsewhere. President Fillmore traced his American 
ancestry back to a John Phillmore who was living about the 
year 1710, and thought that John Phillmore was derived 
from an English family named Phillemore : so that Cam has 
probably given a President to the United States. 

The principal residence of the family appears to have been 
a house which stood on the site now occupied by the Chapel 
of St. Bartholomew, and which in its later years was converted 
into an Inn under the sign of the Berkeley Arms. Here, it 
is said, were many portraits of the Phillimores which had 
been left in the house as fixtures, but which were destroyed 
by the rough frequenters of the Inn when they were in their 
cups. Another of their houses was Nash Hall now a farm- 
house known as The Knapp. 1 In this house there still 
remains as one of the fixtures a fine picture of sixteenth 

1 " Mr. Samuel Phillimore of the Knapp " is mentioned in the 
Churchwardens' accounts for 1777. There is a grim tradition at the 
Knapp that a body lies buried under the stone steps which lead down 
from the hall to the cellar, and that the spirit of the deceased rises 
whenever grass grows on the steps. Boiling water used to be poured 
upon the steps to prevent the grass from growing. 



century date which is said to be one of the family portraits. 
It represents a naval officer's half-length left profile, with 
cravat and ruffles of the Caroline period : and in the back- 
ground on his right is a three masted ship, with Spanish 
colours, which seems to represent some famous capture 
made by him. The picture is in its original frame of black 
and gold, and appears to be the work of a superior artist 
of the school of Lely. Another house of the family was 
The Vennings, called more recently The Manor House. 
This was bought of William Hopton by John Phillimore in 
1689, and left by him in 1611 to his second son John. This 
house, which was given to an old servant in the early part 
of the present century, retains two memorials of its former 
occupants, the one a merchant's mark of John Phillimore, with 
the date 1706: | : 1 the other, the 






I7O <! 

initials of John Phillimore and his wife Mary on the head of 
the porch, with the date 1712. This John Phillimore was 

17 12 

the eldest representative of Richard the second of the three 
brothers above named, and is now represented by ~W. 
Phillimore Stiff Phillimore, Esqre., of Snenton near Notting- 
ham, and of Wresden in TJley. 


A younger brother of the preceding John Phillimore was 
named Joseph, and migrated to London, where his son 
Robert became established on property at Kensington, and, by 
marriage with Elizabeth Jephson an heiress, on an estate at 
Kendalls in Hertfordshire. From him were descended the 
Phillimores of Kendalls, the eminent ecclesiastical Judges, 
Dr. Joseph Phillimore and his son Sir Robert Joseph 
Phillimore, and Sir John Phillimore a naval officer of high 
repute in the last generation l 

The last of the Phillimores who remained in their old 
locality were Mr. John Phillimore of Symond's Hall, TTley, 
and the Knapp, Cam, and his sister, Mrs. Purnell of 
Kingshill, Dursley. Mr. Phillimore died in 1825 and Mrs. 
Purnell in 1826, when the Cam Estate and 14,000 were 
left to John Phillimore Hicks, Esqre., the lands at Uley and 
Owlpen, with 15,000 to Robert Kingscote, Esqre., a near 
neighbour of ancient family, and some 40,000 to other 

The following table gives a correct view, it is believed, of 
the connection between the Cam Phillimores and those whose 
names have been mentioned above as distinguished members 
of the family in modern times. 2 

In addition to the alliances indicated in the table the 
Phillimores of Cam have intermarried with Gloucestershire 
families of Fowler, Dorney, Hicks, Wallington, Purnell, 
Holbrow, Small, Austin, Stiff, and Jenner. 

1 It is worth mentioning that the Gloucestershire village which is 
so honourably associated with the great law names of Selwyn and 
Phillimore was also the native place of an industrious author of some 
note, Edward Trotman, who wrote an abridgement of Sir Edward 
Coke's eleven volumes of Reports, and was buried in the Temple 
Church on May 29th, 1643. 

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This is the name given to a broad T-shaped peninsula of 
high ground running out westward at right angles from the 
line of the Cots wolds, near Dursley and Cam. The length of 
this projection is about three miles, and though the ridge 
which forms it is at first only thirty yards across and fringed 
with trees, it expands at last into a fine open down, the 
"Hill" proper, with Drakestone Point (the highest part, 
750 feet above the sea) as an offshoot to the South. 

The view, though perhaps not finer than some others in 
Gloucestershire, has features of peculiar interest. The Hill 
is not so high as Broadway or even as Nibley Knoll (within 
two miles), nor does it give so wild a prospect as May Hill 
or Stanton Hill. But for three-fifths of the circle the horizon 
is not less than twenty miles distant, while the nearer land- 
scape is full of beauty and variety. And what is more 
important, at every point of the distance the eye rests on some- 
thing which is worthy of attention. Perhaps the point which 
distinguishes this view most strongly from others in Glouces- 
tershire is the long and broad course of the Severn across it, 
which can be traced from a few miles below Gloucester till it 
is merged in the Bristol Channel. Without it the valley 
would be comparatively colourless : its presence adds a beauty 
to the scene which need only be beheld to be appreciated. 

The rough Outline-view which accompanies these pages will 
perhaps serve to direct attention to what is best worth seeing. 
The point from which it is taken is a small cup-like hollow 
about a dozen yards south-west of the flagstaff" on Drakestone 
Point. It should be clearly understood that where the outline 


of the Hill is denoted by a dotted line, the Hill is supposed 
to be transparent for the sake of introducing objects which 
can be seen from other parts of the Down. It will be best to 
follow the view from south to westward, starting from the 
conspicuous monument on Nibley Knoll, marked 1 on the 

The Monument (1) was erected a few years ago to com- 
memorate "William Tyndale (14831536), the English 
Reformer and Translator of the Bible, who was probably born 
at North Nibley (3), the village at the foot of the Knoll, 
the Church of which can be seen to the right. Just over the 
foot of the Knoll can be seen part of Kingswood (2), the site 
of a once-famous monastery, now a small village under the 
shadow of Wotton-under-Edge, a town similar in size and 
position to Dursley, but as completely separated from its 
sister-town as three miles and a half of hilly country can 
make it. It lies out of sight to the left of Kingswood. 

The horizon now begins to recede, bounded by the Cots- 
wolds, on which the camps of Horton and Sodbury may be 
distinguished by those who know the country. The line is 
next broken by the Lansdowne Monument (5) above Bath, 
beyond which the Cots wolds reach their southern extremity. 
Just above where they fail, on the slope of a far distant hill 
may be seen in fine weather another monument (6) which 
seems to be Alfred's Tower near Taunton. [At this point the 
end of Drakestone Point (7) obstructs much of the view, 
unless a move be made to the extreme edge.] 

Bristol (8) is the next conspicuous object, of which little 
but smoke and tall chimneys can usually be distinguished, 
the high ground between Horfield and Stapleton hiding 
most of the city. But in Clifton (10) can be seen Christ 
Church and the Observatory, possibly even the piers of the 
Suspension Bridge. Immediately above Clifton stands the 
Tower of Dundry Church (9), a well-known beacon about 


four miles from Bristol, behind and above which appear the 
Quantock Hills. The valley of the Avon may be traced 
until Portishead (13) is seen over the ships in Kings-Road, 
jutting out into the Bristol Channel, while off the point, ten 
miles further distant, are the Steep and Flat Holmes, the 
former distinguished by its high round outline, the latter by 
a lighthouse. Much nearer, a little to the right, is Denny 
Island. In ordinary weather all beyond these objects seems 
open sea, but occasionally the line of the Somersetshire coast 
by Weston, Clevedon, Watchet, and even parts of Exmoor 
to the border of Devonshire bound the view, stretching com- 
pletely across till they meet the Glamorganshire shore. 
Below this last the bold outline of Aust Cliff (15), Trajectus 
Augusti, strikes the eye, which with St. Tecla's Isle (16) at 
the mouth of the Wye, marks the point where the Bristol 
Channel ends and the Severn begins. 

Turning attention to the nearer view, the eye rests upon 
the line of the Midland Railway. Immediately below 
Clifton is Tort worth Tower (11), in the churchyard of 
which to the left of the Church is the old tree that has been 
a landmark since the days of King John. To the right, just 
above the trees, can be discerned the top of Tortworth Court, 
Lord Ducie's seat. The large wood nearer the spectator to 
the right is Michaelwood Chase (12), once part of the Forest 
of Kingswood: above the northern extremity of it, about 
four miles from Aust Cliff, is Thornbury (14), with its 
richly-decorated tower. 

Beyond the river and above the mouth of the Wye are 
the Glamorganshire Hills, in the shadow of which is Cardiff, 
hardly discernible. Tracing the course of the Wye we see 
Chepstow (17) and, less easy to find, the Windcliff (18), 
900 feet high and well wooded at the top. There is then 
little to notice till we reach the Brecknock Beacons (20) and 
the Sugar Loaf (21). The latter is unmistakable in fairly 


clear weather from its shape ; the former requires good sight 
at any time, to make out its three pinnacles rising above the 
nearer range. Abergavenny is out of sight at the foot of the 
Sugar Loaf, but the ridge of the Skirrid is visible a little to 
the right below the peak, and further still, just beneath a 
round tree-covered knoll, is Stanton Hill, above Monmouth. 
The long line above and behind these objects, terminating in a 
bold bluff, is the so-called Black Forest. Next comes the 
nearer tract of undulating woodland called the Forest of 
Dean (24), now unfortunately. easily recognised by the smoke 
which overhangs it night and day from iron works. 

Returning now to the Gloucestershire side of the Severn, 
Berkeley (19) though not easily found by the eye, may usually 
be traced by the blue smoke of the town and the walls of the 
Castle on the left " by yon tuft of trees " \_Shakespeare. Rich. 
II. 2, 3, 53]. Where the river disappears behind Sharpness 
Point, may be seen the outlet of the Gloucester and Berkeley 
Canal (22), while glimpses of the Canal itself appear at 
intervals most of the way to Gloucester, and, sometimes 
ships' masts moving among the trees. The Church Spire (23) 
between us and the Point, just beneath our Hill belongs to 
the pretty village of Stinchcombe, where Isaac Williams 
lived, and from which the Hill takes its name. Following 
the course of the Severn we come to the Horse Shoe, a large 
bend of the river, beginning near Frampton Church (31) and 
winding round Barrow Hill (28) by Fretherne, and on the 
further side by Newnham (25) and Westbury-on-Severn (27). 
Above the last is May Hill (26) with its clump of trees, and, 
due north of us, the Malvern Hills (29), of which the highest 
peak is the Worcestershire Beacon, the next the North Hill, 
and the hill fortified with earthworks to the left the Hereford- 
shire Beacon. In the broad valley to the right there is 
nothing to notice except Highnam Church (32). 

ft 2 


Gloucester Cathedral (34) next comes into sight, every 
detail of which can be made out with good glasses. Tewkes- 
bury Abbey Tower is just above to the left, and on very 
exceptional days the Lickey Hills between Bromsgrove and 
Birmingham may be seen above all. At the Monument on 
Bredon Hill (35) beyond Cheltenham (which is itself hidden 
behind Robin Hood Hill to the right of Gloucester) the 
horizon begins to contract, the prospect being limited by the 
Cotswolds above Haresfield and Stonehouse (39) (where the 
line is broken by the Stroud Valley, affording a glimpse of 
the hills by Painswick), and nearer still by Frocester 
HiU (41). 

Frocester Church (36) at some distance from the Hill is just 
visible, but to see Coaley (38), Lower Cam (37), and Upper 
Cam (40), a move must be made to the northern part of the 

To the right of Frocester Hill a small clump of trees 
marks the top of the beautiful Woodchester Valley which 
runs eastward towards Stroud, and a little further on is the 
celebrated chambered Tumulus near Uley (42), and the great 
Camp on TJley Bury (45). Beneath these last objects are the 
curious detached hills which characterize the Uley Valley 
(48). First is Cam Peak (44), a small conical hill hardly 
separated from the curved ridge of Long Down (43) ; next, 
more in the valley, Downham (46), with its trees and ruined 
fever-house on the summit. These with the spurs of Uley 
Bury form the northern wall of the valley, the narrow neck 
joining Stinchcombe Hill to the Cotswolds being the southern. 
Both ends of the valley are hidden from our view, for while 
at the village of Uley beneath the Bury small " combes " 
begin to ramify among the hills as far as to the source of the 
Cam, to Owlpen House (47) and to Nymphsfield, Dursley at 
the mouth of the valley is wholly concealed by its own 


Little now remains to be noticed except the Ridge (49), 
and Stancombe House which lies in beautiful grounds at our 
feet, not far from the site of a Roman Villa, now covered 
up. 1 Above some trees to the right is the Hawkesbury 
Monument (50), near Badminton, close to which in appear- 
ance though not in reality is Tyndale's Monument, from 
which we began our description. 

It may be worth while to remark that the Cotswolds from 
near Bristol to Bredon Hill the whole of which line is 
visible from Stinchcombe Hill were considered by the 
Romans so important a line of defence as to be protected by 
no less than twenty-five camps. 

Having thus done our best to describe in humble prose the 
notable points of the prospect from Stinchcombe Hill, it may 
be interesting to the reader to see what a poet had to say on 
the subject a hundred and thirty years ago. The verses 
which we reprint, form a small folio pamphlet of twelve 
pages, and are entitled " Stinchcomb-Hill, a Poem : or, The 
Prospect. By the Reverend Mr Edward Pickering Rich, of 
North-Cerney, Gloucestershire. " But it would be unjust to 
the Author not to prefix his dedication, and so, we reproduce 
his work in its completeness. 


" THE following Rhymes were wrote under Your immediate 
Influence, for, if You remember, my Table was Your Knee ; 
we had no sooner viewed the delightful Prospect of Stinchcomb- 
Hill, in Gloucestershire, but You, with an agreeable Smile, 
commanded me to write something on it, which I immediately 
comply 'd with, and wrote the following Piece ; in which, if there 
is any Thing that can please a Lady of Your nice distinguishing 
Taste, ascribe it all to Your all-inspiring Beauty ; and, when 

1 An account of some Antiquities found on excavating this villa 
will te found in the Archaeological Association's Journal. 


I flag, kindly believe I was spent in Gazing on the too dazzling 
Glory of Your bright Sun-like Beauty. The kind Appro- 
bation it met with from You and a few other Ladies of the 
highest Distinction and Fortune, makes it appear in public. 
Therefore, I will make no Apology, since You are pleased to 
like it ; You, that I was always glad to please, smile on my well- 
meant Essay, and accept the Poetical Endeavours of Your 
"Sincere Inamorato, and Most Obedient Servant, 


" IF you, ye virtuous Fair, will fire my Breast, 
And patronize my Muse, by Love distress'd ; 
Henceforth I will commence a Priest of Fame, 
And never tremble at a Critic's Name. 

Fair Amaryllis, we'll a While retire, 

From the low Villa, where the Hills aspire ; 

Where the high Mountains emulate the Sky, 

And Prospects wide and various charm the Eye. 

Not Alpine Hills such glorious Scenes can show, 

Tho' Rome and all its Splendor lay below : 

Tho' boasted Tyber drew its wat'ry Store, 

With mazy Error thro' that classic Shore : 

Nor old Olympus, sung so oft in Lays, 

Can justly merit so sincere a Praise, 

As StinchcomV s tow'ing Height, that soaring Hill, 

That does with Wonder all Spectators fill. 

Observe, bright Maid, and ope your glorious Eyes, 

And see the Prospects regularly rise. 

First ken yon Mountains eminently high, 

Which scorn the lower World, and mount the Sky ; 

Where the old Britons, as they proudly go, 

Look down with Trembling at the Deep below. 

There, with a dismal melancholy Roar, 

The raging Waters lash the sounding Shore ; 


Severn 'tis called by all Historic Fame, 
From drowned Sabrine it deriv'd its Name : 
Here Berkley's antiquated Dome ascends, 
And worn with Age most venerably bends ; 
There erst a King as Chronicles relate, 
Met with his cruel melancholy Fate. 

Look where the Sun his glorious Beams displays, 

And scatters gloriously his glittering Rays, 

O'er yonder Tow'rs and Pinnacles that rise, 

Brightly refulgent to the neighb'ring Skies ; 

In that fair Vale the lovely City stands, 

At once our Wonder and our Praise commands, 

Gloucester eclypt. 

A College there magnificently grand, 

Built by some wond'rous Artist's wond'rous Hand ; 

Where if two Lovers lend an amorous ear, 

Widely divided, whisper and yet hear. 

Leave now the City, and then turn your Eyes, 

Where Sylvan Scenes and Rural Prospects rise ; 

Promiscuous Villa's scatter'd here and there, 

In artless Beauty innocently fair ; 

Their pleasant Meadows in a cheerful Green 

Delight the Eyes and drive away the Spleen. 

But that's not all, that we do much out-do 

All other Countries, for a length'ning View ; 

That we the World in Prospect will excel, 

And high above the rest car' off the Bell : 

But then our Bells are so exceeding bright, 

That all around they cast a glorious Light ; 

They're unaffected with their pretty Meins 

Of Innocence and Beauty, Rural Queens. 

Tho' now in general I have sung the Fair, 

Yet one above the rest my choicest care ; . 


So in a charming starry glittering Night, 

When every Star then glitters in our Sight, 

Yet all agree the Moon's the softer Light. 

So Amaryllis, so, my brighter Maid, 

When you appear, all other Beauties fade ; 

Fain would I strive your wond'rous Charms to paint, 

But Words can't speak 'em and Description's faint : 

A Goddess' Form let Gods alone express, 

For who are fit to draw it, who are less ? 

Oh ! that I'd Nylton's Style, that Heav'nly Song, 
To you bright Maid such Verses do belong ! 
Then would I give the World a glimmering View 
Of wond'rous Virtues center 'd all in you. 
My Muse, sweet Maid, bids us the Hill descend, 
And warns me for to hasten to the end : 
Therefore, accept my careful Conduct down, 
From the high Summit to your humbler Town : 
So the first Pair were forc'd to leave behind 
Their dear lost Eden, with reluctant Mind." 


This pleasant and prettily situated village was once of 
considerable importance as a seat of the West of England 
cloth manufacture, and in the height of its prosperity must 
have rivalled in size the neighbouring town of Dursley. It 
is situated in a hollow of the Cotswolds, about two and a half 
miles north-east of Dursley, and is shut in by hills on all 
sides but the west. Many springs take their rise in these 
hills, and flowing down into the valley form the little stream, 
called the Ewelme ; which, running on to Dursley, is aug- 
mented by the waters of the Broadwell, and afterwards 
becomes the Cam. 

But Uley became a clothing village not much earlier than 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and it had nestled down in its 
quiet valley for many ages before that time. When men first 
built their homes here and gave them a name is hard to say, 1 
but it seems to have been in those early days when their 
language designated as " Wl ley" what we should now call a 
" wool valley," and as " Wl pen " what we should now call a 
" wool down or hill : " and thus the primitive inhabitants 
were no doubt as great in the growth of long wool as their 
descendants were in the manufacture of it into broad-cloth. 
Later on, perhaps, when Norman gentry came to live among 
the primitive shepherds of the place, people bethought them 
of another characteristic of the locality, and especially of the 

1 Canon Lysons considers that the name of Uley may be traced to 
the Hebrew " Olah " a " burnt offering " or " a high place, a place of 
whole burnt offerings, a place of lifting up of sacrifice, and the voice 
in prayer." [Lysons' Our British Ancestors, p. 146.] 


Tillage itself, and so they called it " Eau ley " because of the 
many springs, which are visible in the village street and 
under every hedge in the parish, in the shape of gushing 
fountains or of crystal wells. 

But long before any peaceful village grew up in the valley, 
men of war had taken possession of the hill. There, once, 
were ancient Britons who dyed themselves with the wood 
which their descendants used for dyeing their broad-cloth 
coats ; l and they have left their mark in the well-known 
Cairn with its interior cluster of walled graves. After them 
came the Romans, who maintained a considerable force in the 
district, and obliterating most of the marks of their pre- 
decessors, have left their own in the shape of the camp earth- 
works which are still conspicuous on TJley Bury. Probably 
those earth-works were not unfrequently occupied in the ages 
of Avar which followed the departure of the Romans, and it 
was in the midst of them, no doubt, that the three Godwins 
encamped their armies when they marched from their three 
counties to their Castle at Beverston, and thence to over awe 
the last of the old English Kings by displaying their force 
within sight of his court at Gloucester. [See page 100.] 

And when the Godwins encamped at TJley they encamped 
on their own ground, for the parish was part of the great 
Manor of Berkeley in their time and in the time of Robert 
Fitzhardinge, the next subject who possessed it. Later on it 
went to the Berkeleys of Stoke Giffard, who lived at their 
Manor House of " White Court," with its two deer parks, a 
house which has long vanished, but the name of which still 
lingers in a little hamlet that has grown up near its site. 
But the parish was broken up into several freeholds even in 
the days of the Plantagenets, and beside White Court there 

1 Dyer's woad was grown in Uley fields within the memory of 
persons still living, but it is now superseded by Indigo, which in its 
turn is being superseded by Aniline, manufactured from gas tar. 


were separate estates and houses named Basset's Court, 
Bencombe, Stout's Hill, Wresden, Angeston, and Rockstowes. 
Of these and of the families associated with them, however, 
there is not much known. 

White Court was evidently the principal place of the 
parish, and is called the Manor of Uley in ancient records. 
The house was situated where the hamlet of the name now 
stands, and probably covered a good deal of land, for it was 
surrounded by two deer parks, or by one large park divided 
by the high road It was made into an estate for a junior 
branch of the Fitz-hardinges, the Berkeleys of Stoke Giffard, 
and was broken up into small holdings and farms by Sir 
Richard Berkeley, in A.r>. 1565. 

Basset's Court was made over by Thomas Lord Berkeley, 
about A.D. 1216, to Margaret his daughter, who was the wife 
of Anselm Basset, and continued in that family until the 
eighteenth century, when it also was broken up by 
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Basset, of Claverton, the 
last male heir, who was married to William Westcombe. 

Bencombe, in the thirteenth century, gave its name to a 
family of whom one member, Robert de Bencombe, is on 
record. In the sixteenth century it belonged to John Poyntz, 
and from him it descended to the Dornays, of whom the last 
representative in the male line died in 1 845 and lies in Uley 
Church, with the following inscription to commemorate her, 
and her arms, on a lozenge gules a chevron between three 
crescents or. " -^ Near this Spot Lieth the Body of Eliz- 
abeth Dorney of Bencomb, who died April 6th 1846, Aged 
90 years, The last Descendant in the Male line of an Ancient 
Family. A faithful and pious Churchwoman. A gentle and 
liberal Neighbour. She forgot not to do good and to 
distribute And walk humbly with her God. This Monu- 
ment is erected by her Grateful and Affectionate Kinsman the 
Revd- John Harding." This nephew was Rector of Coity 

R 2 


and Coychurch in Glamorganshire, and his son was Sir John 
Dorney Harding, a distinguished Ecclesiastical Judge. 

Stout's Hill is the name of a house situated on high 
ground to the south of the village of Uley, built in the 
style which, in the last century, was intended for Gothic, 
but which may be more exactly defined as the Strawberry 
Hill style. In a house of earlier date lived the father of 
Samuel Rudder, the laborious compiler of the folio History of 
Gloucestershire. He lies in the churchyard of TJley on the 
south side of the Chancel, and his grave stone has a brass 
plate inserted in it which records a very remarkable fact in 
the following words : " Underneath lie the remains of Roger 
Rutter alias Rudder, Eldest Son of John Rutter of Uley, 
who was buried August 30, 1771 aged 84 years, having 
never eaten Flesh, Fish, or Fowl, during the course of his 
long life." Tradition says that this strict vegetarian lived 
mainly on "Dump" in various toothsome forms. Usually 
he ate " plain Dump " made of flour and suet : when he grew 
tired of Plain dump he changed his diet to " Hard Dump : " 
and when he was in a special state of exhilaration he added 
the variety of " Apple Dump " to his very moderate fare. 
The writer is reminded of a hospitable squire of his acquaint- 
ance Consule Planco who took pride in the eels and pike 
which flourished in the stream that ran through his estate. 
On Monday he would help you, with much bonhommie, to a 
plate of eels, on Tuesday to a plate of pike, on Wednesday 
to a plate of eels and pike reposing side by side in genial 
companionship : and on Thursday you began again. 

Samuel Rudder, the son of the above vegetarian, was the 
second great historian of the County of Gloucester ; second 
to Sir Robert Atkyns in time but hardly second in industry, 
accuracy, and research. He was a printer and bookseller in 
Cirencester, where he published his large folio work, and 
where he died at the aged of 75 in the year 1801. In de- 


scribing Stout's Hill he says, " This is also the place of the 
writer's nativity, where he collected his first ideas, and for 
which he still indulges a natural partiality." 

The present house has an interesting association also with 
the family of Lloyd Baker ; the present representative of the 
families of Lloyd and Baker, Thomas Barwick Lloyd Baker, 
Esqre, of Hardwicke Court near Gloucester, being the de- 
scendant, by a double line, of William Lloyd, Bishop of 
Norwich, who was one of the Seven Bishops committed to 
the Tower for Protestantism by the Popish James II., and 
deprived of their sees for Popery by the Presbyterian 
William III. The Bishop's great grand-daughter, Mary, 
who died in 1819, and was buried in Uley Church, was the 
wife of Mr. William Lloyd Baker who died in 1830, and 
whose mother, Mary, was grand-daughter of the Bishop. 1 
The present Mr. Lloyd-Baker is a well-known writer on the 
Condition of the Labouring Classes, on the Poor Laws, and 
on Prison Management. 

Early in this century the hospitality of Stout's Hill was 
offered to the poet Bloomfield, at a time when he was re- 
covering from a severe illness. He spent a fortnight in the 
house in 1807, and during the course of his visit a pleasant 
driving party was made for an excursion through South 
Wales, which led to the composition of the poem entitled 

1 LLOYD-BAKER of Stout's Hill and of Hardwicke Court. 

William Lloyd = 
Bishop of Norwich | 

William = Bakers of 

Chancellor of I Waresley, 

Worcester | Wore. 

John= Mary = Thomas 
Hector of 
Ryton, Durh. | 

Mary = William 

Thomas John Lloyd Baker 
Thomas Barwick Lloyd Baker. 


" The Banks of Wye." Bloomfield mentions the occasion of 
his writing the poem in his preface, and dedicates it to his 
hospitable entertainers in the following terms : " To Thomas 
John Lloyd Baker, Esqre., of Stout's Hill, TJley, and his 
excellent lady : and Robert Bransby Cooper, Esqre., of Ferney 
Hill, Dursley, in the County of Gloucester, and all the 
members of his family : this journal is dedicated, with 
sentiments of high esteem and a lively recollection of past 

The poet celebrates his arrival at Stout's Hill with the 
pretty lines ; 

" Soon the deep dell appeared and the clear brow 

Of TJley Bury smiled o'er all below 

O'er mansion, flock, and circling woods that hung 

Round the sweet pastures where the skylark sung," 
and after invoking the muse in the received style of pastoral 
poetry, he describes the start of the party on the "ten 
day's leisure " which " ten day's joy shall prove." 
" One August morn, with spirits high, 

Sound health, bright hopes, and cloudless sky, 

A cheerful group their farewell bade 

To Dursley tower, to TJley' s shade ; 

And where bold Stinchcombe's greenwood side 

Heaves in the van of highland pride, 

Scour'd the broad vale of Severn ; where 

The foes of verse shall never dare 

Genius to scorn, or hound its power, 

There blood-stained Berkeley's turrets low'r 

A name that cannot pass away, 

Till time forgets 'the Bard' of Gray." 

The smooth but not very exciting verses flow on through 
about two thousand lines of such descriptions of scenery as 
our grandfathers delighted in, and then once more TJley and 
Dursley come to the front ; 


" The setting sun, on Dursley tower, 
Welcomed us home, and forward bade, 
To Uley valley's peaceful shade." 

Bloomfield was a poet whose writings charmed a large 
circle of readers in the generation which preceded Words- 
worth ; and his poems are as conspicuous as those of his great 
successor for their single heartedness and purity. 

Uley can also boast of an association even more direct with 
that saintly poet John Keble. His grandfather, John Keble 
of Fairford, died in 1780, leaving several daughters and an 
only son, also named John, who became Vicar of Coin St. 
Aldwyn's near Fairford, in 1782. There being at that time 
no suitable residence in his parish, Mr. Keble lived in his own 
house in Fairford, and there he took home, in 1785, the mother 
of his two sons, one of whom was the John Keble so dear to the 
hearts of the millions who have read the Christian Year ; 
and whose memory has also been perpetuated by the noble 
College at Oxford which bears his name. Mrs. Keble, born 
Sarah Maule, was one of a family of that name which was 
well known among the principal residents of Uley. 

Uley Broad-Cloth, 

This parish was once specially famous for the manufacture 
of that blue " Kerseymere " cloth which our grandfathers 
used to wear in the form of long-tailed coats freely adorned 
behind and before with buttons of gilded brass. 

Of " Cloathing " says Fuller " as good as any in England for 
fineness and colour is wrought in this county, where the 
Cloathiers have a double advantage, First, plenty of the best 
Wooll growing therein on Cotwold hills : so that whereas 
Cloathiers in some Counties fetch their wool far off, with 
great cost, it is here but the removing of it from the Backs 
of the Sheep into their Worke Houses. Secondly they have 
the benefit of an Water for colouring their Cloath, being the 


sweet Rivulet of Strowd, which arising about Branfield, 
runneth across this Shire into the Severn. 

" Now no rational man will deny Occult qualities of per- 
fection in some above other waters (whereby Spanish Steele 
non natura sed tinctura becomes more tough than ours in 
England) as the best Reds (a colour which always carried 
somewhat of Magistracy therein) are died in Stroud water. 
Hence it is that this Shire hath afforded many wealthy 
Cloathiers, whereof some may seem in their Loomes to have 
interwoven their own names into their Cloaths, (called Webs- 
cloath and Clutterbucks) after the names of the first makers 
of them, for many years after." 

The blue cloth of TTley was as famous as the scarlet of 
Stroud. For this fame no doubt it was indebted to the 
" Occult qualities " of the " sweet Rivulet " of Ewelme, 
flowing through the fields of Woad, and brightening the 
texture of the fabrics which came from the looms, so that 
when they were drawn out of the dyeing vats they shone a 
resplendent true-blue, such as would gladden the heart of the 
Tory Squire for his Sunday duties, even as the scarlet of 
Stroudwater gladdened it on Monday for the duties of the 
field. The first to manufacture that particular kind of cloth, 
at least in TJley, was one John Eyles, of "Wresden, 1 whose 
monument in the Church still bears testimony to the achieve- 

1 Wresden is an ancient homestead in the Parish which was sold 
by Sir Richard Berkeley, of Stoke Giffard, to Giles Browning, in 
1566, and which belonged to the Eyles family not long afterwards. 
Mr. John Phillimore, of Cheshunt and New Broa/1 Street, London, 
came into possession of it afterwards, and made a gift of it and of 
The Thing on Cam Green to his brother Robert ; from whom it has 
descended to the present owner W. Stiff Phillimore, Esqre., of Snenton, 
Nottingham. The house is an interesting specimen of a seventeenth 
century middle-class residence; and in one of the bed-rooms is a fine 
old Jacobean bedstead which was once, no doubt, occupied by John 
Eyles himself. 



ment by the following inscription with John Eyles' trade- 
mark in the place of arms : 

Behind this Wall lyes the Body of 


John Eyles aged 91 years and y 
first that ever made Spanish Cloath 


in y psh To whose gratefull memory 
this Monument was erected by M. 
Bayly Gent of "Wresden. 

1 731 

But famous as the blue broad-cloth of Uley once was, its 
fame could not save the manufacturing industry of the parish 
from the influence of an age in which so many landmarks 
have been changed. Within the memory of those still living 
the village was more than double its present size, many looms 


"being at work in it, and also fulling mills and dyeing houses ; 
"but steam and Yorkshire energy began to underbid the Uley 
clothiers about half a century ago, and strikes for wages which 
would leave no profits to the manufacturers finished what 
^Northern rivalry had begun. This destruction of the local 
clothing trade led to a time of terrible poverty among those 
who had been the working population of the place ; and Mr. 
Xloyd-Baker, who was at that time resident in the parish, 
states that in 1830 the Poor's rate stood as high as eighteen 
shillings in the pound on the real value of the land, although 
the poor received as little as it was thought possible for them 
to live on. From that time the manufacturing industry of 
Uley has passed away, and when the present writer recently 
made enquiries on the spot, he found two looms alone 
remaining at work in the hands of an ancient weaver and 
weaveress to testify to the former prosperous trade which 
was carried on here. 


The Parish Church of Uley is an entirely modern structure, 
erected on the site of the old one in the year 1858 at a cost 
of 3,000. It is a structure in the Early English style of a 
late period, and was designed by M>. S. Teulon, Architect, of 
London. The stained glass windows are of some local 
interest, but not of high artistic character. The tower is 
lofty and handsome and contains a fine-toned tenor bell, 
which was taken from the ancient Church. 

The old Church, dedicated like its successor to St. Giles, 
was an unpretending structure which had been much pulled 
to pieces for the addition of pews and galleries. On the 
south side alone there were three exterior stair-cases leading 
to the latter. The tower was supposed to be of great 
antiquity, but no records remain respecting it. The whole 
Church was in such a condition that restoration was found to 
be impossible, and it was entirely removed at the above 

The parochial records of Uley are not of any great interest, 
although the Register begins as early as the year 1668. 1 

But there are some entries respecting excommunication 
which show that the discipline of the Church was exercised 
at a later date than is sometimes supposed. 

1 It may however be mentioned that the trade of " Rugger " or 
" Rug- weaver " seems to have heen a common one before the intro - 
duction of Broad cloth weaving. 

And the following names may be added to the list printed at page 

Dionisia Unis Temperance Modesty 

Baersheba Germanicus Lucina Tryphena daug. of 

Archilaus Troilus Paphroditus Rich, and Lohurama 


On February 5th, 1697 the following occurs : 
" By virtue of an Order directed to me by Richard Parsones 
Doctr of the Laws I did denounce and declare the marriage 
of William Manninge of Uley and Elizabeth Manninge 
ye late wife of John Manninge his deceased brother to be 
void and null to all intents and purposes : witnesse my Hand 
William Heart." 

The next entry of the kind indicates the nature of the 
spiritual offence for which these excommunications were pro- 
bably issued. 

" Eliz : ye base born child of Eliz : Tilly buried February 
ye 8th Annoqu. Dom : 17 If. Ye reputed father of this 
childe was John Cook who afterward married her and after 
marriage were both denounced excommunicated in our parish 
church of Uley " 

The next shows that it was not the poor alone who were 
subjected to the censures of the Church. 

" April 26th 1778. Mr. Edward Dorney of this Parish was 
excommunicated John Gregory Rector." 
The sentence of excommunication not having been revoked 
at the death of this gentleman in 1795 he was buried at 
midnight without the usual Service. 

"April 3rd 1785. Sarah Talboys of this Parish was excom- 
municated. John Gregory : Rector." This entry is followed 
by another, undated, " Sarah Talboys's sentence of excom- 
munication was revoked by me Ralph Lockey Curate ; " so 
that it may be hoped that she at any rate was penitent for 
her misdeeds, whatever they were. 

It may be well to add that sentences of excommunication 
were not issued by the parochial clergyman who had to read 
them in Church (according to the rubric after the Nicene 
Creed) at his own will, but by formal process in the Bishop's 
or Archdeacon's Court, after " presentation " by the Clergy- 
man or Churchwardens. 










Rice Williams 1807 James Kathxo 1842 

Samuel Went 1807 William Hurcombe 1846 

William Hill 1811 John Legge Clarke 1847 

Reuben Ho well 1812 Thomas Legge Clarke 1848 

Joseph Jeens 1814 Edward Bloxsome, Jun. 1850 

Thomas Went 1814 Robert Arthur Fitzhardinge ) ._,_ 

William Hinton 1818 Kingscote j 18 

George Adey 1824 John George Rowley 1855 

Samuel Price 1825 Charles Price 1860 

John Feribee 1825 William Hurcombe 1860 

George Blackwell 1827 John George Rowley 1868 

James Haile 1830 Charles Norris 1868 

John Norris 1832 Cornelius Harris Holloway 1869 

David Bailey 1834 A. E. Burmester, C.B. 1870 

John Norris 1837 William Hill 1870 

Joseph Powell 1838 Thomas Clarke 1871 

Henry Moreland Jeens 1840 John Hamlyn Borrer 1875 

Thomas Stiff 1841 


On a Monument upon the Wall of the Church is the 
following record : 

" Near this place lyeth enterred the body of HENRY PEGLEK 
of this Parish Gent, who dyed the 12th day of August 


1695, aged 85. He gave a parcel of land and 10 Pounds 

in Money to the Use of the poor of this Parish for 


On the Tahles of Benefactions in the Church Tower. 

ME. PARSLOW gave ten shillings per annum, to he paid out of 
"the Fancis in Uley, to be given away in Bread to the 
poor on St. John's Day. 

CAPT. PEGLER gave ten shillings per annum, to be paid out of 
Broadstone field in Uley, five shillings to be given away 
in Bread to the poor, and five shillings to the Minister 
for a Sermon on the 17th day of February. 

ME. HOLLINS gave five shillings per annum, to be paid by 
the Overseer of Uley, being interest of Five Pounds put 
in his hands, to be given away in Bread to the poor on 
the 1 7th day of February. 

MES. ANX WENT, by her Will dated 7th January, 1825, gave 
One Hundred Pounds to the Parish, to be placed out at 
interest on Government Security in the names of the 
Minister and Churchwardens for the time being, two 
fifth parts of such interest to be distributed amongst the 
poor by the said Minister and Churchwardens at Christ- 
mas Annually, and the remaining three fifth parts 
thereof, to be paid towards the support of the Church 
Sunday School established in this Parish. 

ME. THOMAS GREGORY of Dursley, by his Will dated May, 
1837, gave Eighty Pounds to the Parish, to be placed 
out at interest in Government Security in the names of 
the Minister and Churchwardens, the interest arising 
therefrom to be distributed amongst the poor in Bread 
on St. Stephen's Day. 

MK. TETHKRS gave forty shillings per annum, to be paid out 
of the Estate called Oldminster, in the Parish of 
Berkeley, thirty shillings to be given away in Bread to 
the poor, and ten to the Minister for a Sermon on St. 
John's Day. 


MR. RICHARD HOPKIXS gave twenty-five shillings per annum, 
to be paid out of the House formerly called, The Bell 
and Apple Tree Inn in Dursley, to be given away in 
Bread to the poor on Easter Tuesday. 

MRS. CATHE. "Wo BLOCK gave forty-three shillings and four- 
pence, the interest of Eighty Pounds in the funds, to be 
given away by the Minister and Churchwardens to the 
poor Widows that are Housekeepers on St. John's Day. 

The Tumulus, or Grave-mound. 

Just outside the village of Uley, about an hundred yards 
to the left of the road leading to Nymphsfield, there is an 
artificial hillock about ten feet high, the construction of which 
is thought by antiquaries to date from a period some hundreds 
of years before the Christian era, perhaps as far back as the 
reign of King David ; though, to judge by its local name, 
" Hetty Pegler's Tump," a much more recent date has been 
assigned to it by those who live in its immediate neighbour- 
hood. 1 It is a great heart-shaped heap of stones, 120 feet 
long by 85 feet wide in its broadest part, which has been piled 
over an ancient sepulchre constructed of large "plank" 
stones, and over which a layer of earth and turf has accu- 
mulated. In former times it presented simply the appearance 
of a hillock on a rising ground which leads towards the Roman 
Camp and overlooks a most beautiful view of the Severn 
valley and of the hills of South and Mid Wales, but the 
approach to its interior being now left open its artificial 
character is at once apparent. 

1 This name appears to be associated with the wife of Henry 
Pegler, whose benefaction to the poor of Uley is recorded at page 225. 
After the inscription commemorating him there follows " Also the 
body of Hester his wife, who died the 26th day of Nov. 1694, aged 
69." Perhaps Mrs. Pegler had some explorations made in the 
*' tump " and so gave her name to it. 



This Grave-mound is one of a class which antiquaries have 
named the " Chambered Long Barrow " type, to distinguish 
them from other forms, such as the round, disc-shaped, and 
unchambered, barrows : and it is one of the finest of all that 
are known. 

The construction of such grave-mounds is not simply that 
of a stone chamber over which stones and earth have been 
piled up. The dry stone-wall on either side of the entrance 


is part of a heart-shaped wall which runs round the whole 
of the mound as a kind of support by which its original form 
is preserved. At the broad end, or entrance, which points 
towards sunrise, a second wall of a similar kind occurs at 
a distance of several feet behind the one which is visible, so 
as to form a double breast- work in front of the stone-chambers 
beyond : and at the smaller end one longitudinal, and two 
transverse walls exist ; all these walls being buried under the 
superincumbent stones and earth, except where the entrance 
has been laid open in modern times. 


These structural walls end at the entrance to the chambered 
part of the barrow and their place is taken by plank stones- 
set up on edge, the stones not having been tooled in any way 
but being put together just as they were lifted out of the bed, 
the interstices between the irregular edges being filled in with 
smaller stones of the same description. The plank stone 
walls which thus continue the rubble walls of the entrance 
run parallel to each other for a distance of 22 feet, being 4 
feet apart and 5 feet in height ; and the passage thus formed 
is roofed over with similar stones. In the sides of thi* 
square tunnel there were four polygonal chambers made in 
exactly the same way, which were the sepulchral vaults of 
those for whom, this burial mound was constructed : but only 
the two on the left hand remain in a perfect condition. It i 
probable that the chambers and the passage to them were 
first built up, that the heart-shaped walls were then erected 
to regulate the size and form of the mound, and that the 
whole was afterwards buried under the rubble and earth of 
which the substance of the hillock is composed. 

The Uley barrow was accidentally broken into in 1820, 
and the chambers on the north side were destroyed by the 
labourers. In the following year it was carefully opened in 
the presence of antiquaries, and after being thoroughly 
examined it was closed again until 1854, when it was once 
more opened and explored under the direction of the late 
Dr. Thurnam, the greatest authority in England on the 
subject of grave-mounds. Since that time the tumulus has 
not again been closed except by a small wooden door. 1 

The entrance to the interior of this barrow is under the 
lower edge of a massive stone eight feet long which is set 

1 Some notes of the examination made in 1821 were taken by T. J. 
Lloyd Baker, Esq., F.S.A., of Stouts Hill, and these were incor- 
porated by Dr. Thurnam with a paper on the examination of 1854 
which he contributed to the Archaeological Journal, vol. xi. 315. 


upright and supported by two side stones at the height of 
about two-and-a-half feet from the ground. Creeping through 
this low doorway the explorer finds himself in the long 
passage described above, and on his left hand are the two 
sepulchral chambers which remain perfect. The passage is 
partly divided into two by the projection into it of the great 
stones which form the divisions between each pair of chambers, 
and the easternmost half of it is again divided off in a 
similar manner about a yard from the entrance. The end of 
the passage is blocked by a large slab of the same kind as 
those which form the sides and roof. The ground plan of 
the whole thus takes the form of a cross, and this is so 
frequently found in pre-Christian days, and among heathen 
nations, that there can be little doubt it had some meaning, 
thouh what meaning is not now evident. 

f SepiA/ 

r ctral \ 

Lon g Passage 

Cha J mbers 


The sepulchral chambers are entered by narrow doorways, 
"but these were each closed up with a wall as the chambers 
"became the resting places of the bodies for which they were 
constructed, and the one furthest from the entrance was so 


found when the mound was explored in 1821. The roofs 
also were originally formed in rude domes by making courses 
of plank stones overlap each other in succession until the 
whole of the chamber was covered ; but these are not now 
in their original condition. 

When the mound was examined in 1821 the central 
passage and the side chambers were found to be filled with 
soil and rubble, part of which had no doubt accumulated by 
infiltration, and part from the rough and incomplete explor- 
ations of those who had searched there for treasures in some 
far distant day. In the central passage there were uncovered 
the remains of as many as six skeletons, and two others lay 
between the rubble walls in front of the entrance. In the 
chamber nearest the entrance on the left hand were the 
remains of four other skeletons, the bones of which were so- 
irregularly placed as to show that the chamber had been 
previously explored and the skeletons displaced from their 
original position. In the soil and rubble with which they 
were covered there were some fragments of pottery, and one 
small vessel which is described as being shaped like a 
lachrymatory. In the further chamber there were also a few 
human bones with some fragments of pottery and charcoal. 
There were also, besides these human remains, the lower 
jaws, teeth, and tusks, of several wild boars, as well as a 
few bones and the teeth of some ruminant animal. 

Thirty-four years afterwards, as has been said, the sepulchre 
was again explored, and a heap of these bones were then 
found piled together at the furthest end of the passage. 
They included fragments of eight or nine skulls, but only 
two perfect ones, these being of the type called by the very 
learned name of " dolichocephalic " which means " long- 
headed." A singular peculiarity was discovered in the spines 
of some of the skeletons, the two upper dorsal vertebra, 
that is, two of the joints of the spine between the " shoulder- 

s 2 


blades," being cemented into one or " anchylosed," so that 
some at least of these long-headed Britons must have been 
very stiff about the back. The bones are preserved in the 
Museum of Guy's Hospital, where also are some fragments 
of flint arrow-heads which were discovered near them. 1 

In the upper part of the mound, close to the surface and 
therefore high above the roofs of the ancient sepulchral 
chambers below, another skeleton was discovered, and the 
date of this later grave was fixed by the fact that near the 
remains of its occupant there were found three coins of the 
sons of Constantine the Great, belonging to the middle of 
the fourth century. Fifteen hundred years ago, therefore, 
this grave-mound was an ancient structure ; and those whose 
bodies were laid in its chambers may have looked out from 
TJley Bury on the Valley of the Severn in times when the 
world was yet young, and when the name Roman had not 
yet been heard. Perhaps the bones which have now been so 
recklessly scattered were those of warriors belonging to a 
race of Britons contemporary with the earlier days of the 
Hebrew monarchy ; and the " very great heap of stones " 
which they laid over the body of Absalom in the wood of 
Ephraim [2 Sam. xviii. 17] may have been a grave-mound of 
the same period as that at Uley. 

1 Since the account of Beverston was printed the writer had occasion 
to excavate a portion of a field in front of his house for the purpose of 
making a new approach to the latter : when the labourers cams across 
many fragments of pottery bearing the mark of fire, much charcoal 
of apple tree wood, some of it only partially burnt, many bones, 
some human and some the bones of animals, a flint arrow-head, a flint 
core, a very thin disc of yellow metal four inches in diameter made 
of three pieces rivetted together, a single white stone, and a hair 
bodkin of bone, four inches long. The fragments of pottery were 
without ornament, and belonged to eight or ten urns. All these 
relics lay within about eighteen inches of the turf, and the grave had 
no doubt been often disturbed before by the plough. 



uf flif (wthnuljmi'ttf tff 




a -" 

aadb> - ,.U- 

ca ' ,. '.. 





The Roman Camp. 

All along the Valley of the Severn for forty miles, that is 
from Clifton Down and Bath at one extremity to Bredon 
Hill at the other, the ridges which form its boundary on the 
south-western side and the hilly places in the valley itself are 
crowned with Roman encampments. That of TJley Bury is 
the fifteenth, reckoning from the one on Clifton Down, and 
that on Bredon Hill is the twenty-fifth. 1 But the Uley Bury 
Camp is the largest and finest of them all, and was probably 
considered to be the key to the position which was occupied 
by these extensive lines of earthworks. 

The Roman armies never halted, even for a single night, 
without throwing up earthworks in the form of a regular 
entrenchment, which should be large enough in area to enclose 
the whole body of fighting men and their transport corps. 
So important was the construction of such protecting lines 
considered, that even, when a military force was actually 

1 These are enumerated and their positions indicated in a paper 
giving " An Account of a Chain of Ancient Fortresses extending 
through the South Western part of Gloucestershire ; By Thomas John 
Lloyd Baker Esqre F.S.A., with a map reduced from Taylor and a 
plan of the entrenchment at TJley Bury," in the Archaeologia of the 
Royal Society of Antiquaries, vol xix. 161. They are as follows : 
Clifton Down Dyrham Churchdown 

Kings Weston Hill Old Sodbury High Brotheridge 

Blaize Castle Horton Whitcombe 

Knoll Westridge Crickley Hill 

Elberton Drakestone Leckhampton Hill 

Oldbury ULEY BURY Cleeve Hill 

The Abbey Broadridge Green Nottingham Hill 

Bloody Acre Painswick Beacon Bredon Hill 

Bury Hill 

These were all so placed that they could communicate with each other 
by signals ; and they doubtless had roads also in communication. It 
is said that this chain of permanent camps can be still further traced, 
through Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, as far as the Ely fens. 


engaged with the enemy, parties of the soldiers were told off 
to lay out the camp for shelter and rest, and to pitch the 
tents on a regular and well-understood plan, so that every 
corps might he able to march at once to its own quarters. 

But encampments of a more permanent kind were some- 
times necessary, where an army could be quartered, perhaps 
for years, in a position that would command a hostile country, 
and then the earthworks were made of a more solid and 
durable character, while the men were quartered not in tents 
hut in huts of turf, wood, or even stone. Uley Bury Camp 
was one of this kind, and being placed in so favourable a 
position upon a spur of the Cotswolds, it overlooked an exten- 
sive range of country in the Vale of Severn, and was a very 
important part of the frontier fortifications by which the 
Romans compelled the Britons to keep within the hill country 
of Wales, to which they had retired before the conquering 
forces of the invaders. 

The Uley Bury Camp was probably a fortified city of the 
Britons long before it was occupied by the Romans, and the 
grave-mound adjacent may be only one of many in which the 
more distinguished of its inhabitants were interred. The 
Romans are thought to have brought it into its present form 
in the time of Caractacus, about the middle of the first 
century of the Christian era. At this time Publius Ostorius 
Scapula held the chief command of the Roman forces in 
Britain, his command lasting from A.D. 47 to A.D. 5 1. 1 The 
Roman historian Tacitus records of Ostorius that he con- 

1 His predecessor was Aulus Plautius ; whose wife Pomponia 
Graecina was accused of being a Christian on her return to Rome in 
A.D. 47. Doubtless some of those who were quartered within the 
entrenched lines on the Cotswold hills during the latter half of the 
first century had been among the number of those whom Paul 
"received" in " his own hired house" at Rome, and had heard him 
"preaching the kingdom of God" . . no man forbidding him" 
[Acte xxviii. 30, 31]. 


structed a series of camps along the lines of the Avon 
and the Severn [Tacitus' Annals xij. 31], having had very 
hard work to drive Caructacus and his army out of Gloucester- 
shire, and endeavouring by means of these garrisoned posts 
to secure the country he had won from the British King. 

The hill on which the Camp is situated is 823 feet in 
perpendicular altitude, and has a deep slope on all four of its 
sides, being entirely detached from the neighbouring heights, 
except at the northern corner where a narrow isthmus con- 
nects it with Crawley Hill, and with the road to the Severn 
on the west and to Gloucester on the north. The top of the 
hill is a level parallelogram from 560 to 600 yards long by 
about 250 yards wide, and at each of the two comers on the 
south-east side there are projecting buttresses of nature's own 
construction, the tops of which are about 30 feet lower than 
the area of the hill itself. 

The camp occupied the whole of the level surface and was 
thus about thirty-two acres in extent. It was defended by 
two banks and ditches which ran all round, and large portions 
of which still remain. The highest of the defences was 
formed by digging a trench on the edge of the hill six or 
eight feet below the level of the area, and forming a bank of 
the earth which was thrown up on the outside of it, this 
bank been surmounted by a further defence of stakes. The 
lower trench and bank were made in the same manner about 
five and twenty feet further down the hill. When there was 
danger of attack these trenches were occupied by the garrison, 
and under cover of the walls the defenders could effectively 
hurl their missiles down on their assailants, while the latter 
would have little chance of doing them any damage except 
by achieving the very difficult task of storming the trenches 
in the midst of their opponents' fire. 

The principal entrance to the camp was by a fortified 
gateway at the north corner, where the ridge which forms the 


isthmus is only about fifty yards across. This gateway was 
protected by three trenches and banks which ran across the 
ridge, and by mounds corresponding to the towers of a castle 
barbican, each of which would be provided with a rampart of 
earth or stone. On this side the camp is overlooked by 
higher ground, and there were probably outlying defences 
beyond the entrance which are not now to be traced. 

Two smaller entrances to the camp were provided on the 
two buttresses of the hill, and these were protected by mounds 
on either side. The roads which led to them were hollow 
ways descending round the buttresses and communicating 
with the road which ran across the valley and up the opposite 
hill towards Beverston and Tetbury. 

This general plan of the Uley Bury Camp will be under- 
stood by the annexed engraving, which is copied from the 
paper in the Archasologia referred to in a note on page 233. 
How it was laid out cannot now be traced from any remains, 
but may be inferred from the ordinary practice of the 

Around the rampart were placed engines for throwing darts 
and arrows, and for slinging stones, engines which were 
originally invented by the Jews [2 Chron. xxvi. 15], but 
were adopted by the Assyrians, as their sculptures in the 
British Museum show, and by their successors in empire the 
Greeks and the Romans. Behind these engines there was a wide 
space of forty or fifty yards which was used as parade ground 
and for the safe keeping of cattle and other booty. Down the 
centre of the enclosure was a principal street an hundred feet 
wide, and on either side were as many others, fifty feet wide, as 
the space would contain. The huts of the soldiers and officers 
were built up on either side of these streets, the huts being 
so arranged that every company of an hundred soldiers was 
quartered together around its own centurion, and the com- 
panies of each division in close proximity to each other ready 


to fall in to their ranks immediately without confusion in the 
wide street of the camp, and to march out of it in the order 
in which they were to take their places on the field of battle. 
" In the midst of all," says Josephus the Jewish historian, 
who wrote about the time when Uley Bury was first occupied 
by the Romans, " is the general's own tent, built like a 
temple ; and the whole camp looks like a city suddenly 
springing into existence, with its market place, and a quarter 
for handicraft trades, and places for the superior and sub- 
ordinate officers where they can hear and determine causes if 
any differences arise." [Josephus' Wars of the Jews. III. v.] 
The morning parade, the daily drill and exercise, the posting 
of sentries, and the giving of orders and the watch-word, the 
historian describes in such a manner as to show that a modern 
Aldershott inherits the traditions of a Roman Uley Bury ; and 
that, where modern artillery has not necessitated changes, 
military mankind of the first century were not very different 
in their habits from those of the nineteenth. 

The Roman Camp on Uley Bury was probably used by 
later armies, taken and re-taken by Dane, Saxon, and Briton, 
and sometimes occupied even down to the time of the 
Conquest : but like many others it has been a place for the 
grazing of peaceful sheep now for many a generation. But 
some Roman Aldershotts became the centres of large popu- 
lations and ultimately the sites of medieval cities ; and there 
is usually a trace, of their origin in the regular arrangement 
of their principal streets, and in the name "castra" which 
still clings to them in the English form of " cester " or 
u Chester." 



It may be convenient to the reader of the preceding pages 
to know the altitudes of the principal hills in the Cotswold 
district, and of some of the places that have been named. 
Those which follow are most of them taken from a paper by 
Mr. Hyett in the first volume of the papers of the Cotswold 
.Naturalists' Club : 

Feet above the 

Sea Level. 
Ordnance Bench Mark /f\ on the north side of j 

Dursley Church Tower f 

Beverston Castle 600 

Stinchcombe Hill 725 

TJley Bury 823 

Symond's Hall Down 802 

Finger Post on top of Frocester Hill 780 

Eobiu's Wood Hill 652 

Standish Hill 715 

Oxenton Hill 733 

Painswick Beacon 929 

Birdlip Hill 969 

Leckhampton Hill 978 

Base of Bredon Hill Tower 979 

Broadway Beacon 1000 

Cleeve Hill . 1081 



Angeston 215 

Ap Adam, descendants of last 

Baron 112, John 111, Thomas 

Arms of Berkeley of Beverston 

135, Gully 92, Phelps 92, 

Phillimore 202, Vizard 94 
Arundel of Woodmancote 91 
Avening, Tho. de, Rector of 

Beverston 149 

BailiSs of Dursley 19, List of 
their names 26 

Baker, see Lloyd-Baker 217 

Barnsdale John, Vicar of Cam 
174, and Burial in Woollen 184 

Bassett family 215 

Basset's Court 215 

Bathurst, Allen, Rector of Bever- 
ston 160 

Battle of Cambridge 167 

Bayly, M. 221 

Bellfounders 196 

Bells of Beverston Church 160, 
Cam 193, Dursley 76 

Bencombe 215 

Berkeley and Throckmorton fami- 
lies 141 

Berkeley, Laura, Descendants of 
130, Joan, Abbess of Brussels 
133, of Berkeley 113, of Bever- 
ston Pedigree of 135, of 
Dursley Pedigree of 7, of Stoke 
Giflbrd 128, 214, of Uley 215, 
" Old Sir William" 131, Roger 
de 4-5, Sir Edward 129, Sir 
John 120, Sir Maurice 122, 
Sir Maurice 127, Sir Thomas 
130, Sir William 128, Thomas, 
"Great" Lord 119, Thomas, 
Lord 169 

Beverston 97, and the Blunts 
103, and Sion house 133, 
Church Bells 160, Church- 
wardens 164, Colston Charities 
sprung from 104, Curates 161, 
162, 163, Derivation of name 
97, Discovery at 232, Market 
110, Mortality at 138, Parish 
Clerks 164, Rectors of 148 

Beverston Castle 116, Destruc- 
tion of 146, Early remains at 
113, Old views of~147, rebuilt 
107, Siege of 138 

Bistherne Dragon 134 

Black Friars of Bristol 107 

Bloomfield's Poem on Uley and 
Dursley 218 

Blunt, J. H., Rector of Beverston, 

Blunt, Lord Mountjoy 130 

Blythe, G., Rector of Dursley 81 

Boys, Beating the 52 

Briefs 39, Form of Petition for 

Britons at Uley 234 

Broadwell, Dursley 3, 32, 213 

Bristol and the Fitzhardings 102, 
Black Friars of 107 

Burial in Woollen 181 

Broadcloth of Uley 219 

Cam 165, and James I. 164, 
Benefice of 169, Church Bells 
193, Church, Dedication of 169, 
Church rebuilt 169, Church- 
wardens 175, Hospital 172, 
Origin of name 165, pedigree 
168, Parish Officers 177, Parish 
Register 175, Smyth's descrip- 
tion of 165, -Vicars of 173, 
Women's Rights at 189 



Cambridge 165, Battle at 167 

Camp on Uley Bury 233 

Capel, Daniel, Vicar of (Jam 174 

"Girds" 13 

Carmelian, Rector of Dursley 81 

Castle Field, Dursley 8 

Centenarian at Cam 172 

Chambers, Mrs. A. Poem dedi- 
cated to 209 

Chantries 31 

Chapel of Ease, Woodmancote 92 

Charities, Colston and Beverston 
104, of Uley 225, of Dursley 86 

Chavenage, 144 

Church Goods at Dursley in 1568 

Christian names at Cam 179 

Churchwardens' Book, Cam 186, 
Dursley 38 

Churchwardens of Beverston 165, 
of Cam 175, of Dursley from 
1845, 85, of Uley 225 

Chapelwardens of Woodmancote 

Clothmaking of Dursley 9 

Clutterbucks 9 

Coberley, Dragon at 124 

Colebrook and Cam 170 

Colston Charities originated from 
Beverston 104 

Communion plate, Private 190 

Cornwall, A. G., Rector of Bever- 
ston 163 

Corporation of Dursley 18 

Cotswolds, Heights on the 238 

Court Leet of Dursley 18, 25 

Curates of Beverston 163 

Curates in Charge of Dursley 84 

Dedication of Cam Church 169 
Doomsday Beverston 100 
Dorney, Elizabeth, monument of 


Dorney, Mr. Edward, excommu- 
nicated 224 
Dragon at Bistherne 124, at 

Coberley 124, Fields 125 
Draycott 168 

Dursley 1, Charities 86, Church 
37, Church Bells 77, Deriva- 
tion of the name 2, Market 
Tolls 95, Medieval 9, Rectors 
of 81 

Edward II. and the Berkeleys 114 
Elizabethan Churchmanship of 

Dursley 52 

Epigrams in Cam Register 176 
Estcourt 137 
Ewelme 3, 213 

Excommunication at Uley 224 
Eyles, John 220 

Fillmore, President 199 

Fines for Swearing, &c. 51 

Finnemore, Henry, a Martyr 198 

Fitzhardings 4 

Fitzharding and the Abbey at 
Bristol 102 

Fitzharding, Rector of Bever- 
ston 101 

Fleetwood of Beverston 136 

Fortune, Moses 178 

Fox, Bishop 15 

Fuller on the Clothiers 9 

Fynamore, see Phillimore 199 

Gaunt, Alice de, Descent of 106, 
and the Bristol Dominicans 107 
Gaunts and Woodmancote 91 
Gloucestershire fortresses 233 
Godwin, Earl, and Beverston 99 
Godwins, The, at Uley 214 
Gourney, Anselm de 109, John 

de 111, Robert de 108 
Gravestone, Early, at Cam 171 
Gravemound, see Tumulus, 227 
Gytho, Italian Rector of Dursley 

Hadley 168 

Hall, Richard, Rector of Bever- 
ston 156, Richard, jun., Rector 
of Beverston 157 

Hall Place, Cam 168 

Hard Dumps diet 216 



Harding, Sir J. D. 116 
Hardinge, William, Vicar of Cam 


Hathaway 137 
Hermitage at Dursley 31 
Hetty Peglers Tump 227 
Hinton, Cambs. 123 
Hicks, J. P. 201 
Hicks of Beverston 136 
Hoggling Money 49 
Holder, W. C., Vicar of Cam 175 
Hopton of Cam 168 
Hornidge, Thomas 161 
Hospital at Cam 172 
Huntley's Cotswold Dialect 95 
Hurd, Bishop 34 
Hyde, at Beverston 137 

Jackson, John, at Dursley 16 
James I. and Cam 164 

Keble, John, and Uley 219 
Kingscote, Anthony 146 Robert 

Knapp, Tradition at the 199 

Lamberts of Woodmancote 91 
Lambton, Worm of 1 24 
Latimer, Bishop, on the Clothiers 

Lawsuits of Maurice, 5th Lord 

Berkeley 107 

Leapingstone, Ignotus 178 
Lloyd-Baker family 217 
Lloyd, Bishop of Norwich 217 

Market at Beverston 110 
Market Tolls of Dursley 95 
Marriage annulled at Uley 224 
Massey, Col., at Beverston 139 
Maule, of Uley 219 
Maurice, Lord Berkeley, Law- 
suits of 107, 5th Lord Berke- 
ley 110, 7th Lord Berkeley 114 
Merchant's mark 200 
Mortality at Beverston 138, at 

Cam 178 

Morton, Rector of Dursley 81 
" Moss " for Dursley Church 55 

Needham, Andrew, Rector of 
Beverston 158 

Oglethorpe, Goodman, of Bever- 
ston Castle 840 

Oldfield, Pope's epigram on Mra. 

Orthodoxy in Eighteenth 
Century 197 

Palmer and Thackam 153, Verses 
on name of 156 

Panting, W. S. 162 

Parish Clerks of Beverston 164, 
Officers at Cam 177, Register 
of Uley 223, of Cam 175 

"Pap" 16 

Parish Discipline 51 

Pedigree of Ap Adams 109, 
Berkeley 7, De Cam 168, 
Gournay 109, Hall 157, 
Harding 168, Lloyd-Baker 
217, Needham 158, Phelps 92, 
Phillimore 202, Poyntz 116, 
Purie 151, Vizard 94, Wyke 7 

Perkes of the Hill 93 

Perrott's Tomb, Cam 172 

Pettit, Thomas, Rector of Bever- 
ston 162 

Phelps of Dursley 91 

Phillimore, see Finnemore 198 
Arms of 202, family 198, John 
168, Portraits of family 199, 
pedigree 202, Sir John 201, 
Sir Robert 201, various 
spellings of 199, W. S. 220 

Phillimores of Kendalls 201 

Phinimore, W ., and burial in 
woollen 184 

Phinnimore, see Phillimore 199 

Poyntz, John 215, of Beverston 

Poem on Stinchcombe Hill 210, 
on Uley 218 

Poor, Relief of 44 

Proverbial Philosophy of Dursley 

Puff Stone 74 

Purie monument 151 



Purie, Thomas, Rector of Bever- 
ston 149, letter to John Fox 

Puritans and Saints 78, at 
Dursley 58 

Puritan Rectors of Dursley 83 

Purnell, Mrs. 201 

Railway, Dursley 1 

Rectors of Beverston 148, of 
Dursley (nonresident) 81, of 
Uley 225 

Rectory House, Dursley old 71 

Register, Parish, of Beverston 

Restoration of Dursley Church, 72 

Rockstowes 215 

Robinson, Rector of Dursley 82 

Romans at Uley 233 

Roman Villa, Stancomb 4 

Rudder family 216, The His- 
torian 216 

Ruggers 223 

Rug weavers 222 

Ruthal, Rector of Dursley 81 

Rutter, see Rudder 216 

Saints' Bell at Dursley 76 
Savage, John, Rector of Bever- 
ston 162, Thomas, Rector of 
Beverston 159 
Scribbling 13 

Sedilia, in Dursley Church 75 
Selwyn, C. J., Rector of Bever- 
ston 160, family 160, 172 
Serpent, Great, at Coberley 124 
Shakespeare and Dursley 93 
Shakespurre at Beverston 136 
Shakespeare of Newington Bag- 
path 94 

Shakespeare's Walk 94 
Siege of Beverston Castle 138 
Sion house and Beverston 123 
Skeleton Effigy 75 
Smallpox field 138 
Smyth, John 182 
Sparrows and Churchwardens 

Squints, Beverston Castle 118 
Stanley, St. Leonard's, Priory 6 
Steeple of Dursley Church 64, 
Its Fall 65, Brief for Rebuild- 
ing 67 

Stephens of Chavenage 144 
Stephen, Wars of his Reign 5 
St. George, Image of, at Cam 170 
Stinchcombe Hill, The View 

from 204 
Stout's Hill 216 
Shatford, Thomas, Vicar of Cam 


Surplice at Dursley 58 
Swinburne and Woodmancote 91 
Swinfen, John, Rector of Bever- 
eton 159 

Tanner, Thomas 75, Monument 

75 Chapel 34, 75 
Tingtang 77 

Thackham, Thomas 15, 38 
Thackham and Palmer 153 
Thing, The Cam 165 
Thomas, 7th Lord Berkeley, 

Descent of 114, 8th Lord 

Berkeley 114 
Throckmorton and Berkeley 

families 141 
Throckmorton, Governor of 

Beverston Castle 141 
Toadback bacon 17 
Trotman, Edw. 201 
Tuff Stone 74 
Tumulus at Uley 227 
Turner, Edward, Vicar of Cam 


Uley 213, and John Keble 219 
and Bloomfleld 218, Broad 
Cloth 219, Bury, Camp on 233, 
Church 223, Church, Dedica- 
tion of 223, Churchwardens 
225, Decay of weaving at 221, 
Origin of name 213, Parish 
Register 223, Rectors 325, 
Tumulus 227, Entrance to 228, 
opened 229 



Upthorpe 165 

Vennings, The 168 

Vermin at Dursley 47 

Vicars of Cam 173 

Visor family and Shakespeare, 93 

Visor of Woncot 93 

Vizard of Dursley 93 

Warhurton family 83 
Weare of Beverston 104 
Weaving, Decay of, at Uley 221 
Webh alias Wool worth 13 
Webb, Old Clothing Family of 9 
Webscloath 220 

White, A Cam Centenarian 172 
White Court 214, 215 
Whitewashing Dursley Church 53 
Woad at Uley 214 
" Women's Eights" at Cam 189 
Woodchester 167 
Woodkirk, Yorkshire 17 
Woodmancote Chapel of Ease 92, 
Chapel wardens 92, Manor of 91 
Woollen, Burial in 181 
Woolwright of Cam 13 
Worm of Lambton 124 
Wresden 220 
Wyke of Dursley 7 


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Page 100, line 7- Uley Bury is in the Hundred of Berkeley, 

not of Longtree. 
126, line 11. "shot his horse." The compositor's view 

of this sequel to the shooting of William Rufus is 

unhistorical, and the reader will kindly substitute 

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199, line 3 from bottom, for "Hair 1 read "Court." 
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Joseph and Josiah were sons of John and Eleanor, 

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For "Gr\*ille" read " Greville." 

DA Blunt, John Henry 

670 Dursley and its 

D93B58 neighbourhood